Smiling with Sarah and Mike

Smiling with Sarah

Last night, my night took a way different turn-I was traveling for work and down at my hotel bar in Cleveland.  
I went to grab a drink quick and figure out where I was going for dinner.  I ended up standing at the end of the bar next to Michael Mann and we struck up some small talk.

I gathered that he was here in Cleveland (and had been going back and forth from Macomb IL for some time) because his beautiful wife was at the Cleveland Clinic and from the sound of it, it was pretty serious.  I wasn’t ready for anything heavy emotionally, so initially I tried to avoid the conversation and not get into specifics so that I (so selfishly) didn’t feel uncomfortable.

after a little bit of “what do you do for work, where exactly you from etc.”, we got on the topic.  His wife Sarah had developed a large tumor in her diaphragm that ended up causing even more complications beyond cancer. 

Sarah and Michael received some good news that day so Michael thought he would “treat himself” to an actual bed to substitute the waiting room/ICU room chairs that he’d been sleeping on for over a week-and a real shower to substitute the sinks he’s been splashing cold water on his face from.  Also, Michael was having a couple, MUCH needed cold ones.  I may have bought him a couple more too.

as I learn more about his life, where he’s from etc., I find out he has a beautiful 2.5 year old little girl.  It’s all slowly starting to hit home for me and I do my best to not choke up and show strength and support for my brother here going through the biggest trial of his life.  
But he shows me smilingwithsarah.com and I see the pictures of Abbie, his little girl, and his wife Sarah...it was all I had on me to only let out a couple tears as I placed my hand on his shoulder, for lack of words, to show him my love and support.  I wept for him. 

I have always been a person of compassion, but this situation hit home harder, as I have a wife and kids whom I love dearly and could not imagine at all going through what the Mann family is...

There is a LOT of debt that comes with these situations, and Michael BUSTS his ass to provide for his family (you can look at his hands and be able to tell) but I’ll tell you what...my lofty goal of 20k is very minimal in comparison to what type of medical debt this is putting the Mann family in. 

I’ve never done anything like this, but I felt absolutely compelled after meeting and becoming friends with Michael.  I am hoping I can make this a crowdfunding success story and help these fine people out.  I have over 1000 Facebook friends and I feel like most people I know have more than that.  Please donate what you can and SHARE THIS ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS PLEASE!

ALL of the money raised with benefit the Mann family to help with medical expenses and if for some mericle there are more funds, something will be worked out for Abigail (Abbie), their daughter.  College fund or something-but all money received will be given to the Mann family, they need it right now.  But more than the money, it’s the love and support shown by strangers-we can prove that we are all stronger as one and that in todays dark society, we are the light. 

Please help me help Michael, Sarah and Abbie.  

Link to smilingwithsarah.com will be provided-Sarah blogs and gives updates etc. (hasn’t been able to since October) and as of last night 3/14, she was in a medically induced coma :(



But definitely check that that out for more in depth info if interested. It will give you an inside look and learn more about what is going on as well as the story of your Sarah’s tremendous battle.  I will be active and provide updates for donations and such as best as I can.  If we reach this goal, there will be some sort of bonus to donators, I’ll figure it out.  

Thank you very much

Dustin Ritsema - a new friend of the Mann family

Donations (0)

  • Mary Garlick 
    • $20 
    • 17 mos
  • Desire'e Cherry Rowland 
    • $20 
    • 17 mos
  • Nancy & Jim Caldwell 
    • $100 
    • 17 mos
  • Kristyn Hinman  
    • $20 
    • 17 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 17 mos

Organizer and beneficiary 

Dee Ritz 
Organizer
Byron Center, MI
Michael Mann 
Beneficiary
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