From the moment they received his diagnosis the Campbell family knew the prognosis wasn’t in their favor. In the spring of 2017, Lance Campbell and his wife Sandy finally had a name for the mystery ailments which plagued him – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig’s disease. On April 8, 2018, Campbell’s suffering ended.
The long time Oakdale educator, wrestling coach and past President of Oakdale Teacher’s Association left his friends and family with a wish before his passing.
“One of his last wishes was to help raise and spread awareness of the ALS disease,” OTA President and educator Keith Burns stated in a district wide e-mail.
In support of his friend and colleagues’ wish, blue and white ribbons were assembled and distributed throughout the district to be worn last Thursday, April 19.
“The idea of honoring Lance with ribbons came from Rhonda Duarte,” Burns stated, “and the ribbons were prepared by Shauna Rico with help of many of the Magnolia staff.”
The colors were symbolic of Lou Gehrig’s baseball team, the first high profile person to have ALS.
As noted by the Mayo Clinic, early signs and symptoms of ALS include:
- Difficulty walking or doing normally daily activities.
- Tripping and falling.
- Weakness in legs, feet or ankles.
- Hand weakness or clumsiness.
- Slurred speech or trouble swallowing.
- Muscle cramps and twitching in arms, shoulder and tongue.
During his fight with the illness, Campbell’s family benefitted from the organization Hope Loves Company. His son Daniel, a sixth grader at Sierra View Elementary School, has hopes of attending an ALS survivors’ camp this summer.
Persons interested in making a donation in Campbell’s honor may do so by visiting www.hopelovescompany.org or a donation toward Daniel’s camp fundraising effort at paypal.me/danielcampbell2024.