Support Nate in his fight with ALS (Lou Gehrigs)

Nate Manuel is community, known to many of us as a brother, friend, organizer, comrade, and mentor. He needs our support in fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease that currently has no cure and over time limits people’s independence and ability to do simple things like walk and talk. Nate has done so much for his communities, especially the youth, in Salt Lake, the Diné Nation, and the Tohono O’odham Nation. He is also a budding filmmaker and recently made a film series called This Was the Place about local Indigenous community members' relationships to land stewardship, food production, and Indigenous identity. From elevating often silenced stories to mentoring the rising generation, he shows up for his communities in countless ways. Now it’s time to come together to show him the love and support he's shown so many of us!

We're asking people to please give what they can to help Nate maintain his autonomy as much as possible. ALS is known as the bankruptcy disease, and annual costs of care can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even though Nate has been dealing with the physical impacts of ALS for the past two years, he has continued to work full-time. Soon, physical declines will likely limit how much he can work, so funds will help Nate get the rest and care he needs. Money raised will first ensure that Nate receives the best possible medical care to increase his quality of life for as long as possible. Once all medical costs are covered, extra funds raised will help Nate pay rent, maintain his vehicle, purchase healthy foods, visit friends and family, and do the things he loves. Please give what you can and share widely!

A note from Nate:
My name is Nate, and I work for a nonprofit called the Neighborhood House. I am a teacher in the school-age department, and I run the intergenerational program activities, which bring together kids in 2nd to 6th grade and elders. I also facilitate 4 garden towers where we grow our own vegetables for cooking. I have worked with youth in Salt Lake City, and specifically on the west side, for almost my entire career.

I have lived in Salt Lake City on and off for my entire life since I was 5 years young. Originally, I come from the Diné Nation and the Tohono O’odham Nation Indian Reservation in southern Arizona. I have coached girls’ and boys’ high school basketball at West and East High Schools in SLC for over 10 years. For 7 years, I also worked at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Rose Park and Glendale, and I have served as a mentor for the Upward Bound program at the University of Utah. I’ve been a summer coach at the University of Utah summer basketball camps as well, and I was a youth coordinator at the Urban Indian Center for 5 years. Working with youth has always been my calling, and I take it very seriously.

I have also been called to protect Mother Earth and vulnerable communities. I was fortunate enough to stand with the tribal nations in Standing Rock, North Dakota to protect water. I also stay involved with my community back home on the international border with Mexico. I love basketball, and I love to garden. I am proud of the communities that my family and I come from.

I was recently diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a neuromuscular disease that gets worse over time, and simple things like walking and talking become difficult. ALS currently has no cure, and the disease progresses to limit people’s independence and ability to do everyday things. I used to walk and run with the kids at work all the time, but now I use a cane and sometimes a wheelchair to get around at work and in my daily life. It has been a nightmare come true, but I remain prayerful and positive that I will bounce back from this. I am working to pursue treatments that have shown promise in treating ALS, helping some people to stabilize or even improve their condition, and I can use some community support to make this possible.

There are many unknowns for my future, but any help at this time will be greatly appreciated.

Organizer and beneficiary

Natascha D
Salt Lake City, UT
Nathan Manuel

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