Stan Moore- The REAL Tough Mudder
Team Member: Amy and Mike Hsiung
EVENT DATE Nov 14, 2015
"Mommy, I want to go to the zoo with Poppi." These words, spoken by my five-year-old son Landon, were music to my ears. Since I didn't grow up with a grandfather in my life, watching Landon and Addie (age 3) with their Poppi Stan has been especially precious to me. Stan is the kind of man any mother would choose to be a grandpa to her children.
When my niece Acadia was born, my sister battled a life-threatening illness for a month. As she fought for her life in the hospital, my mom and her husband took turns staying by her side. Stan, who had no experience parenting babies, became the primary caregiver for newborn Acadia. This was only weeks after he married my mom. That is the kind of man Stan is.
And Stan's positive influence goes way beyond my family. Stan served his country during Desert Storm, has been teaching math for over a decade and spent thirteen years as a high school football coach. He has defended our country and impacted the lives of countless young people.
In 1997, Stan learned he had chondrosarcoma (bone cancer) in his right hip. His hip was surgically removed and replaced with prosthesis. This prosthesis required surgeries again in 1998 and 1999 before it finally seemed to work correctly. Stan, a former high school football player, avid bowler, lifelong softball player and downhill skier, adjusted to life without a hip. The lack of hip required walking with a cane and significant limp, but he was grateful to be cancer free.
Though Stan's life was significantly altered by his disability, it never stopped Stan from helping and supporting those he loves. Unfortunately, the U.S. Army Reserve refused to let Stan reenlist for the last six years of service to his country due to his disability, denying him his military retirement. However, Stan continued teaching and coaching football. When Stan became a grandparent to my children, he never let his disability stand in the way of playing "tickle chase," spending hours walking around the zoo, and being an active Poppi.
In early July, our worst fear came true. We learned the cancer was back and even more aggressive than before. Since chondrosarcoma does not respond to radiation or chemotherapy, Stan's entire leg and part of his pelvis had to be amputated.
At the time the cancer returned, Stan was working as a teacher and my mom had retired to care for Landon, Addie, and Acadia. Stan was happy to live on a modest income to allow his three grandchildren to be cared for by their Nana.
The financial ramifications of this procedure and the lengthy rehabilitation are daunting and continue to stress a couple already living on a budget. While they are getting some assistance with the medical expenses from insurance, they are still paying a considerable sum out of pocket while also losing the majority of Stan's income for an extended period of time. Meanwhile, my mom and Stan are making home modifications that will allow Stan to be able to move through their home by walker and wheelchair. The assistive devices, physical therapy and medical follow-up are also very expensive. Because of the stage and aggressive nature of this cancer, Stan will need frequent and costly medical monitoring for years to come.
Stan has approached learning to sit, stand, and walk using assistive devices with the determination and positivity he instilled in the athletes he coached. Even at one of the most difficult times in his life, Stan is inspiring others. Stan's strength inspired my cousin, Ryan, to train for the World’s Toughest Mudder, a grueling 24-hour race. Ryan is using his training and competition to raise awareness and funds for Stan's recovery, as Ryan knows that Stan is the REAL tough mudder.
All Stan wants is to continue to have a positive influence on those around him. Stan's goal is to return to teaching his high school students whom he misses and loves. And he would really like to take his grandkids to the zoo.
Please join me in raising funds for Stan, someone who has always helped others and, now, needs our support.