José Saleta-ALS fight

$31,618 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 270 people in 30 months
(Sigue en español)

Hello!
My name is José Luis Saleta, and if you are reading this you probably know me or know something about me, so I'll be short with the introduction. 
I am 54 years old, and the proud father of two amazing young men, Pablo and Oscar. I've been married for 21 years to my dear wife Teresa.

I was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, and after graduating from the Forestry school at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, I came to Santa Barbara (UCSB) to graduate school in 1990.  That's where I met my wife. We got married in 1994.  The following twenty one years are not an uncommon story: we had two sons, and we managed to survive as a family, changing continents a couple of times and finally settling in Santa Barbara.  Not a bad place to live after all!

In the early summer of 2015, I started to notice some symptoms that at first I thought were just caused by exhaustion after a very busy year.  "Well, the summer is the perfect time to relax and then all these strange symptoms will go away," I thought.  They didn't, so I went to the doctor and got a referral to see the neurologist. After many weeks of uncertainty, lots of medical tests, and those symptoms that didn't cease to get worse, the dreaded diagnosis came in November: I had a bulbar motor neuron disease, or the "bulbar" version of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). ALS is a relatively rare degenerative disease of the nervous system that affects the motor neurons, responsible for the movement of the muscles. So as the disease progresses, you lose the ability to move, and eventually it affects vital functions like breathing. I have to say that I have received an amazing amount of support from the people around me: my family, my coworkers, and my friends near and far. I am immensely grateful for that. I know that I face months (and hopefully years) that will be increasingly hard for me and the people around me, but I am positive that we are all going to step up to the challenge. I am so amazed at the wonderful people that surround me, that it is hard for me to express how blessed and lucky I feel to have shared some of my life with you.

Okay, if you are like me, you are probably crying by now, but that wasn't my intention when I started writing this. To get to the point, I am raising money to make my life in the upcoming months a little easier. I never thought that I would be doing something like this, but so many of you have insisted (see the last sentence of the previous paragraph) that I'm going for it. I will face some major expenses in the immediate future: we need to do a major remodel of our home so it can serve my needs as the disease progresses. We also need to make our home wheelchair accessible.  I am not sure for how long I will be able to walk and take care of my personal hygiene, but at the pace the disease is progressing, I would like to do this remodel a.s.a.p.  Please don't think of this as just a fund raiser.  I've always valued having a sense of community (and that's one of the main reasons why I live where I live and I do what I do), and it is now the time for me to reach out to this community of friends and ask for help. I know that my community is going to be there for me in many ways, not only monetarily, and that is the biggest satisfaction I can get.  Thank you all for being there and for all the meaning to bring to the words community and friendship.


¡Hola!
Me llamo José Luis Saleta, y si estás leyendo esto, probablemente me conoces o sabes algo de mí, así que seré breve con la presentación. 
Tengo 54 años, y tengo el orgullo de ser padre de dos chicos maravillosos, Pablo y Oscar. He estado casado 21 años con mi querida esposa Teresa.

Nací y crecí en Madrid, en España, y tras graduarme de la Escuela Superior de Ingenieros de Montes de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (escuela de forestación), vine a Santa Bárbara (UCSB) a hacer estudios de postgrado en 1990.  Ahí es donde conocí a mi esposa. Nos casamos en 1994.  Los siguientes veintiún años son hasta cierto punto una historia normal: tuvimos dos hijos y nos las arreglamos para sobrevivir como familia, cambiando de continente un par de veces, para acabar asentándonos en Santa Bárbara.  ¡No es que sea un mal sitio!

Hacia finales de primavera-principios de verano de 2015 empecé a notar unos síntomas que al principio achaqué aI agotamiento tras un año de mucho trabajo. «Bueno, el verano es el momento perfecto para relajarse, y todas estas sensaciones extrañas desaparecerán», pensé.  Pero no desaparecieron, así que fui al médico y me dijo que hiciera cita con el neurólogo. Tras muchas semanas de incertidumbre, un montón de exámenes médicos y esos síntomas que no cesaban de empeorar, finalmente me dieron el temido diagnóstico en noviembre: tenía una enfermedad de la neurona motora superior, la versión «bulbar» de la ELA (Esclerosis Lateral Amiotrófica). La ELA es una enfermedad degenerativa del sistema nervioso relativamente poco común que afecta a las neuronas motoras, responsables del movimiento muscular. Así que según va avanzando la enfermedad, uno va perdiendo la capacidad de moverse y llega un momento en que afecta a funciones vitales, como la respiración. Tengo que decir que he recibido un apoyo increíble de la gente que tengo a mi alrededor: mi familia, mis compañeros de trabajo y mis amigos, tanto los que están cerca como los que se encuentran lejos. Y estoy tremendamente agradecido por ello. Ya sé que los próximos meses (y esperemos que años) van a ser cada vez más difíciles para mí y para la gente que me rodea, pero estoy seguro de que todos vamos a saber enfrentarnos a este reto. Estoy tan asombrado de lo maravillosa que es la gente que me rodea, que se me hace difícil expresar lo afortunado que me siento de haber compartido mi vida contigo.

Bueno, si eres como yo, probablemente a estas alturas estés llorando a moco tendido, pero no era esa mi intención cuando empecé a escribir esto. Para ir al grano, estoy recaudando fondos para hacer mi vida en los próximos meses un poco más fácil. Nunca pensé que fuera a tener que hacer algo de este tipo, pero ha habido tanta gente que ha insistido (como indico en la última frase del párrafo anterior), que he decidido hacerlo. Voy a tener que hacer frente a unos gastos considerables en el futuro inmediato: necesitamos hacer una remodelación a fondo de nuestro apartamento para adaptarlo a mis necesidades según vaya avanzando la enfermedad. También tendremos que hacer nuestro hogar accesible en silla de ruedas. No sé por cuánto tiempo voy a poder caminar y ocuparme de mi higiene personal, pero al paso que está avanzando la enfermedad, me gustaría hacer la remodelación lo antes posible. Por favor, no consideres esto simplemente una recaudación de fondos. Siempre le he dado un gran valor al sentido de comunidad (y esa es la principal razón por la que vivo donde vivo y hago lo que hago), y me ha llegado el momento de pedirle ayuda a mi comunidad de amigos. Sé que mi comunidad me va a ayudar de infinidad de maneras, no solo monetaria, y esa es la principal satisfacción que voy a tener. Gracias a todos por estar ahí presentes y por todo el significado que le dan a las palabras comunidad y amistad.

 
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Dear family, friends, and colleagues,

attached is Jose's video, which was played during his Memorial Service on Sunday Agust 13 at Casa de la Raza. Descanse en paz!
Thank you all for your support,

Teresa, Pablo, and Oscar Saleta
Jose's video played during his Memorial
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Emmer Ruano
30 months ago
2
2

Hola Jose, siento mucho lo sucedido, los milagros existen y mi deseo es que Dios te de la sanacion para volverte a ver sonriente como siempre as sido. Un fuerte abrazo amigo.

+ Read More
Kim DeVenne
25 months ago
1
1

Jose! How many times did we cross paths volunteering at the various schools? You were always an inspiration. I'm so sorry to hear you and your family are going through this challenge.

+ Read More

$31,618 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 270 people in 30 months
Created April 8, 2016
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RV
$200
Renata Valladares
14 months ago
1
1

I was fortunate to cross paths a few times with José at district events where he provided simultaneous interpretation. His professionalism and kindness were always evident. The tenderness and devotion of his family shines through so clearly. Que Dios lo tenga en su gloria y bendiga siempre esta maravillosa familia.

JD
$50
John Dent
14 months ago
1
1

Jose was an amazing person. He shared so much wisdom and strength and I feel blessed to have met him.

$50
Margarita Gmdelcampo
14 months ago
2
2

Querido José, mis mejores deseos para que tengas paz y armonía y que puedas conseguir todo lo necesario para hacer las cosas más fáciles para ti y tu familia. Un abrazo y ánimo. Mil bendiciones♥

$10
Anonymous
14 months ago
1
1
LC
$100
Leila Carvalho
14 months ago
1
1

Jose, we are all together and praying for your happiness and the happiness of your family. Thank you for your friendship. Leila & Charles

$100
Harriet Whaley
14 months ago

Jose, my family continues to hold you in our thoughts and prayers.

CS
$50
Christopher Still
16 months ago
1
1

Hello Jose, I'm so sorry to hear about this, and am amazed by your courage and determination. Maria and I send you our thoughts and prayers. -Chris Still

Emmer Ruano
30 months ago
2
2

Hola Jose, siento mucho lo sucedido, los milagros existen y mi deseo es que Dios te de la sanacion para volverte a ver sonriente como siempre as sido. Un fuerte abrazo amigo.

+ Read More
Kim DeVenne
25 months ago
1
1

Jose! How many times did we cross paths volunteering at the various schools? You were always an inspiration. I'm so sorry to hear you and your family are going through this challenge.

+ Read More
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