To whom it may concern:
My name is Amber Logue and I am writing to you on behalf of my father, Scott Logue, who was officially diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in March of this year. You may remember the term “ALS” from the “Ice Bucket Challenge” that took over the internet in 2014. Many people participated in the challenge and donated to the cause but are still unfamiliar with how the disease affects the patients. In short, ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Over a period of time the cells begin to die and the ability for the patient to walk, talk, and breath eventually become nonexistent. There is no cure for ALS and it is 100% fatal; usually within 2-5 years of onset. My father started experiencing symptoms in June of 2016, so we have passed the one year mark. He has already lost his ability to speak, and soon will lose the ability to eat as it is not safe for him anymore. He underwent surgery to have a feeding tube inserted at the beginning of July, which will become his main source of nutrition.
It took the doctors eight months to come to the conclusion that it was ALS due to the fact that they had to rule out a recurrence of throat cancer. ALS symptoms typically start in the limbs; however, the muscles in his throat had been weakened by the cancer treatment so the doctors believe the disease took advantage of the weaker muscles and started there. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in Jan 2013 after 6 months of symptoms and was able to win that battle with the love and support of our many friends and family from near and far. Now we are in the midst of another battle, and though it is one that we cannot necessarily win, it is one that we can try to make him as comfortable as possible through. This is why I am writing you today, because in order to achieve this goal we need your help.
My father served 14 years in the United States Air Force, and would have eventually retired if he did not feel as though it was best for our family for him to be honorably discharged in 2001. We did not know this at the time but military veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS. Due to this connection the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides medical and financial assistance to those who have served. They have offered a substantial amount of money to go towards renovating my father’s house to accommodate his medical needs, however, after receiving an estimate for the cost of the renovation there is still over $40,000 left to be covered.
My father’s bedroom is currently located on the top floor of the house. There are no bedrooms on the first floor; which is where he will essentially be confined to once he is wheelchair bound due to immobility. The goal of the renovation is to provide him with a master bedroom on the first floor that is wheelchair accessible. This includes larger doorways, a wheel chair accessible bathroom and shower, and an immediate exit from the house for safety which includes a ramp/front porch that currently does not exist. The carpets on the first floor must also be replaced with a hard surface so that he will be able to move from room to room without sinking or getting stuck. Due to the amount of work that needs to be done, and the cost not covered by the VA, it is has left us no choice but to ask for help. We are not asking for a monetary contribution, rather, a donation of materials that can be used to help with the renovation (wood, plumbing, roofing, flooring, etc.).
I’m sure you get letters like this all the time, and you may be wondering why, other than being sick, my father deserves your assistance. Now, you may think I’m biased, but my father is an incredible man and anyone that knows him would tell you the same. When my parents got divorced he maintained primary custody of me and my two siblings. He maintained a full time career with the government and was still able to be involved in everything we did. He coached our soccer and baseball teams for years. He was the equipment director and on the board of the Waldorf Little League where he has volunteered hundreds of hours in the concession stands. He was also on the board at church, has volunteered for Christmas in April several times, and has donated IT assistance when needed. One of the things that has been hardest for him to deal with since the diagnosis is the loss of his voice and his inability to sing along to the hymns during the service. It may seem like something very simple but it is just one of the ways ALS has stripped some of the joy from his life.
When he married my step-mother Jody in July of 2007 our family of four grew to a family of eight, and he did not once hesitate to treat her children as his own. We range in ages 26-14, and though two of us have moved out he is still the main financial supporter of the six people and two dogs that live in the house. He continues to work as well as attend the soccer and baseball games of not just his own children, but the children of family friends whose teams we aren’t on. He will do this as long as his body will allow him to.
He has worked very hard to provide us with the life that he has, and we are doing all that we can to repay him by making the life he has left as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. We do not know how fast the disease will progress, but we do know for certain that it will. He will lose his ability to walk. He will lose his ability to breathe. He will be confined to a wheelchair and will have to have a tracheotomy to keep him alive. Though he will lose all of these things, his mind will still be the same. He will still be the same intelligent, caring, thoughtful, incredible man I and many others know and love. It is for this reason that I am asking you to please consider making a donation to help us provide him with a comfortable and accessible living space. You may contact the contractor directly for material donations . Terry Barnes at [phone redacted] or [email redacted]
Thank you for your time and consideration,