Recently my father, Stanley Senecal, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. His symptoms started over 2 years ago with some slight changes in his balance, tripping more easily while walking, and pain/difficulty working with his arms above his shoulders. As time went on and the symptoms progressed, the assumption was that this was all due to his progressive spinal disease and stenosis. Following two surgeries in the last year, Stan has continued to get progressively weaker, needing canes, then a walker, finally culminating in his diagnosis of ALS. This is a devastating diagnosis for a man who has always been at least partially defined by what he can do for others with his vital physical energy.
Where do things stand?
Stan is still able to get up and walk around with assistance. A lift chair to help him stand. A walker to help him ambulate. His wife, Flora Senecal is currently assisting him with all his daily needs, his trips to the various specialists, and any other difficulties that he encounters. While friends and family have reached out to assist both of them in this difficult time, there is starting to be a greater need for more direct assistance in the home.
While my father continues to get weaker, his disease has primarily been confined to the periphery of his body. He is still able to breathe, speak and swallow well. He can still tell his favorite jokes and stories(ask him about Nathan and the aloe). Give my brother advice on a construction project. Laugh with my mother at my terrible jokes until we all nearly collapse. Call his brother and yell back and forth for an hour about very little. Catch up with old friends who want to stop in and catch up. Please feel free to call and find out when you can drop in if you want to say howdy.
What will my donations be used for?
Any donations to this campaign will go directly towards Stan's current and future medical needs which may not be covered by insurance/medicare. At this stage my father needs almost constant assistance, and my mother needs help with this. We already have occupational and physical therapists coming to the house to work with him. While progression of his disease can be difficult to predict we anticipate needing in home care, possibly a mobility wheelchair and an ADA accessible vehicle, and eventually a ventilator and all associated care and costs that come with it, should Stan choose to go down that road. All of this in an effort to keep Stan comfortable and at home as long as possible, with maximum independence.
Funds may also be used for any travel costs associated with clinical trials that Stan might be admitted to. While the UofR has a promising program, and wonderful physicians that Stan is seeing, there is also a very aggressive and exciting program out of Boston that he is interested in. Travel and other costs associated with these trials are rarely covered and must be paid out of pocket by the family.
Finally if any funds are in excess and unnecessary for my father's treatment, he has expressed a wish that they be donated to the Donna L. Dake Research Endowment Fund, which is used to benefit ALS research.
Stan the Man:
My father is one of the most giving people I have ever met. Any time anyone was in need, Stan would be there to help. I can remember stopping on a road trip to shovel a stranger's car out of ditch, knowing the plows were 5 minutes behind us. He's the lynchpin of the Senecal clan. Mary's hero. Bonnie's baby. Jan's shadow. Georgie's best friend.
Dad has always claimed not to have very many friends, that he hasn't had the time. But I have never believed that. His life has been full of people who he cared enough about to bend over backwards for, whatever they needed. People love my father for his heart. They admire him for his work ethic. They're amazed by his vitality and drive. I think he has more friends than he imagines, and I am hoping they can come through for him now when he needs to be reminded how many people truly care about him.
Several of my father's oldest friends have reached out, asking how best they can help in this situation. Because of this we are starting this gofundme campaign, so that everyone who cares about Stan, who has been impacted by his life, can help a great man pay the outrageous medical costs that are looming on the horizon.
No donation is too small, as every little bit helps. Please share this campaign with your own social networks, family and friends, so that it can continue to grow. Thank you for caring about my father and our family.
With sincere gratitude from our entire family-
Andrew and the Senecal family
DonationsSee top donations
- The Hayes Family
- Lynne Slat
- Mike Russell
- Don Gnann
- Chris & Bill Atkinson
Fundraising team: Senecal's (3)
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