A Spokane appliance specialist retires to battle ALS

Published On: Mar 15 2013 11:47:43 PM PDT
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

Retiring at 43 is a dream for many people. Nate Moats wore sandals and a Hawaiian shirt to his surprise retirement party at Ferguson Bath and Kitchen. Even though Friday was his last day, Moats knows his real work is just beginning.

"He's taking it way better than any of us can even imagine," employee Shannon Wertman said.

Nate's retiring young, because he's battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. It's the disease that attacks the body's nervous system, and eventually shuts it down while leaving the mind sharp. He's trying to keep a positive attitude while battling this, and being a single father to a 16-year-old girl.

"We all, we can die at anytime...I kind of have one up on everybody else because I kind of have a time frame," Moats said.

Nate's been in appliances for 16 years. He's made a lot of friends from it and even helped out on KXLY's Extreme Team. So when he was diagnosed days after Christmas, he told all of them in an e-mail.

"I wanted them to know I appreciate them...I wanted them to know why I wouldn't be here anymore," Moats said.

Those friends trickled into Ferguson to see Nate and enjoy some food, and show him why retiring at 43 with their support will be a dream for him.

"We're just going to be celebrating, and just having a relaxing day and just enjoying him and kind of saying goodbye," Wertman said.

Nate is planning to move to Hayden, ID to live in a small house next to his sister's house. His contractor friends plan to make some adjustments to the home to ensure Nate is comfortable.