In recent days we have been struck with some devastating news about one of our own, Alem Workneh. Unless you've been to the Seattle office you may not have met Alem, but his work as lead software development engineering in test (SDET) for CoalfireOne has certainly impacted you. After gaining a master’s degree in Iowa, and time at a few companies that included Microsoft, Alem found his way to Coalfire five and a half years ago. Since that time Alem has represented himself as a shining example of the Coalfire Way.
For a few years now Alem has been battling an illness that eventually took away his ability to walk. Through all of this his dedication to Coalfire did not waver and he continued to deliver an extremely high quality of work. Neither did his commitment waver to being a good father to his two boys, Michael (9) and Marcus (4), and a good husband to his wife, Mekdes.
Heartbreakingly, after years of searching, doctors have discovered what has been ailing Alem, ALS. They have devastatingly given him 2-3 months before he passes away. ALS is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function, including breathing. All of Engineering, and Coalfire, are in shock at this news.
Talking with Alem, there are 3 things we can do to rally around him and help:
1) Let him know he is not alone
2) Pray for a miracle
3) Help with financial needs to bring him dignity in his final days
On the financial front, Alem needs $1,500/month for a breathing machine that would significantly increase his quality of life. He is in need of a further $1,500 per month for Hospice care. If we can raise $9,000 to cover 3 months of these expenses it would go a long way to helping out one of our own.
If we are able to raise our goal of $100,000 we will be able to put Alem’s family on firmer footing as they prepare for this difficult life transition.
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