Help Sam Mance beat ALS!
Just before his 40th birthday, Sam received terrible news; his strange symptoms were diagnosed as ALS. We are devastated but determined to fight Sam’s ALS! Please help me surround this family in love and support!
I'm asking for help for my sister Sera and her beautiful family. Sera lives in New York with her husband Sam and their teen daughters. They are hard working, generous people who would never ask for help, so I’m going to do it for them.
Sam is one of the most energetic and industrious people I know. He never sits still and always keeps busy. He loves fishing, hunting, sapping, chopping wood and working hard.
He has a construction business with his brother Seth, where for over 20 years he has served his community as a reliable and skillful contractor, with an impeccable eye for detail. However, four years ago, he decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in Industrial Technology and Drafting. He wanted to fulfill a lifelong goal and find a long-term position that would help to ensure a wonderful future for his family.
Sam got his degree while continuing to work with his brother Seth in their construction company, staying involved in his community, and being a loving father and husband. Sam graduated with High Honors and was an inspiration to his classmates, always offering them encouragement and help. While pursuing his degree, Sam got a job, working for the Parks Department, and in one of his favorite places in the world, Sam’s Point Preserve. On Sam’s “off” days from the park he remained an integral part of his business, Millennium Contractors.
January 2016 was a hectic time for the family, but Sam and Sera believed the hardest part was behind them. In the next few months, Sam would earn his degree, turn 40, and launch his new career. They had no idea their world was about to turn upside down.
Onset of Symptoms
In February 2016, Sam started to have strange symptoms. His speech became slurred and slower. Then he began to have a hard time swallowing food, and eventually he developed a strange weakness in his arms. Additionally, he started to lose a lot of weight. Sera and Sam looked for answers as his symptoms progressed.
After many long months, extensive exams, countless blood tests and a long string of visits to various specialists, the doctors finally confirmed our worst fear. Sam was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
No known cure
ALS is a progressive disease that takes away a person’s ability to control voluntary muscles often in a short time frame. People with ALS lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. It is a horrible disease that affects the patient and their family in unimaginable ways. At this time, there is no known cure.
However, this prognosis is not stopping Sera and Sam from searching for answers and alternative treatments to relieve his symptoms. Some of them are extremely expensive and not covered by their health insurance. We are researching many ways to stop and slow his progression and searching for help! Sam is fighting and the whole family is rallying together to find a way to get him healthy again!
When I think of someone as strong, independent and hardworking as Sam not being able to take care of himself or his family, it breaks my heart. Sam has been struggling with the reality of having to stop working and the speed at which his symptoms have progressed. It's really hard for someone as self-reliant as Sam to not be able to work. He isn't the kind of guy that wants to sit around, he loves to work and make things happen. Asking for help is not something he feels good about.
The family has already endured so much, both emotionally and financially. They have been referred to many doctors who were not covered under their insurance. The ALS team that is covered by their insurance is in Baltimore, MD, almost 300 miles away from their home and they will need to travel there frequently to continue his care.
What can you do to help?
Can you imagine what it would feel like to deal with something like an ALS diagnosis? Just when you thought your life’s plan was falling into place you have to face something so terrible and unexpected.
Sam and Sera have helped so many people over the years. I hope that everyone reading this will take the time to return their generosity. I am asking for help for their medical bills, travel expenses and cost-of-living expenses. They also may need renovations to their home (which Sam built) in order to continue living there as his symptoms progress.
Please make a contribution to help this family during this tremendously difficult time! My hope is that if we all answer the call for help, then at least Sam, Sera and their daughters can spend the coming months being together as a family instead of worrying about how to afford the care that Sam needs.
Please share this story with everyone you know! Your support will give back to a family who has always been so generous to others. We can’t make Sam’s terrible diagnosis go away, but we can wrap the family in our love and support and help him fight the symptoms!
Thank you, with more gratitude than I can possibly express! Let’s rally around these special people and hold them in our thoughts and prayers.
Please forgive the long delay since my last update. I have to admit they have been hard for me to write the past few months.
We are so grateful for all of you and your continued support as we learn to live in the new normal - which changes every day.
I am here with Sam, Sera and their girls for 10 days to help in any way I can. I was last here in October, so I can see the dramatic difference 3 months can make with a devastatingly progressive disease like ALS. My heart aches for them.
Sam is no longer able to walk on his own and is awaiting approval from insurance for a wheelchair. For now he is guided by Sera with every step. She holds him up as he shuffles along. Sheer will keeps him going.
Communication is also a struggle but once Sam has his wheelchair it will be fitted with a communication device. Soon enough he’ll be zipping around and talking away! We might even need to get someone to paint some flames on the sides :)
Thanks to all of you and your help they will be installing a wheelchair lift in the next 2 weeks. This will be amazing for Sam and Sera to be able to get him out of the house again. The lift will allow Sam to get from the garage to the house without going out on the icy path.
We are grateful for every donation, no matter how small! But, as you can imagine, there is a continued need for financial support. I am trying to raise some funds towards the wheelchair co-pay and a vehicle that can transport Sam’s wheelchair. This social guy needs to get back out into the world!
I would love your help to hit our ultimate goal! Please help me by sharing this link with everyone you know. If we can get others to hear Sam’s story it increases our chances of reaching our goal faster!
Thank you all for your loving messages and support! We couldn’t do this without you!
Happy Holidays to you and your family! If you have a little bit left over please consider a holiday donation to the Mance family! They could use all the help we can give!
Thank you so much!
Thank you for your continued support! The holiday season is upon us. During this time we want to send a message of gratitude to all our friends and family in the local and global community!
The Mance Family was able to build a wheelchair accessible bedroom and bathroom with all of your help! Now they can stay in the home that Sera and Sam built!
We also want to thank everyone that helped by volunteering time and materials to the project! It was a team effort and we feel so much gratitude for all of you!
Thank you! And happy holidays to you and your family!
I continue to be bowled over by the outpouring of love and support for my sister and her family! We are so grateful for your help! Our community is so kind, loving and generous and has helped us feel wrapped up in love during such a difficult time!
I am working with Sera to create an update about Sam and all they have going on; I will share that soon. But I wanted to take a moment to say how much we appreciate all of your help sharing Sam's story and making contributions to our campaign!
I want to say thank you to everyone...ALS is a disease that no one wants to think about; our family is eternally thankful , to our friends and the community who have helped us get through this situation. Please consider a donation to Go FundMe because Sam and Sera have some expenses that will not be covered by their insurance. Sam is now considered high risk, and every single procedure requires elaborate and repetitive testing. Please know that your generosity is greatly appreciated. Thank you again and pray for God's mercy for him and our family.
I have shared the campaign on the Class of 1992 FB page. I will be sure to update the page with any fundraisers or further information you might have. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.
Not only money but many prayers are needed for the Mance family as they travel through their most difficult journey. I will be contributing on a continual basis as my online business is more forthcoming and profitable and it goes without saying that my prayers will always include this beautiful family, God Bless you all.
Thank you for all the kind words, support and prayers for Sam as he faces this battle. We would like to come together as a group to attend Cragsmoor Stone Church Services, this Sunday May 28th @ 11:15am to offer up prayers and ask for divine intervention. Let's fill the church with friends and family of Sam & Sera. http://cragsmoorstonechurch.org/
Mailing Address; Sam & Sera Mance PO Box 36 Walker Valley, NY 12566
We are stunned by the outpouring of support by friends and family. Thank you one and all for every kind word, prayer and financial donation that you have sent to Sam & Sera. We are eternally grateful. xoxo Maggi & Paul Grannis