Update: November, 2006
It is with great sorrow that we announce
the passing of Lance's wife,
Update: April 24, 2005
Hello to some old friends - most of whom I haven't seen in some time. This is just a report an what's going on in our lives.
Maria has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gherig's disease. It started being noticeable almost a year ago in May when her speech became slightly slurred and she sounded a little tipsy all the time. After a month or so, Patrick, our oldest son, convinced her to go to her doctor about it. Unfortunately, the diagnosis takes a long time because it is a "wait and see" type of diagnosis; when it isn't anything else, it is then diagnosed as ALS. She didn't get the definitive diagnosis until February of this year.
Her younger brother has it and had been diagnosed a couple of years ago and we were hoping that it was something else for her; only 5% of people with ALS have a familial version of it. The diagnosis is a brutal one because there is no cure, no treatment and it is always fatal. The literature and her doctor say that the typical prognosis is death within three to five years of diagnosis with some dying as soon as one year and some lasting ten years. The disease affects motor neurons that control the muscles. It will gradually paralyze the victim until it gets to the muscles that control breathing. When it starts in the tongue and throat, as it did with Maria, it affects swallowing very early in the progress of the disease so the prognosis is worst for those people.
At the current time she cannot speak much at all and communicates by writing on a dry erase board and with sign language. It has only slightly affected her other muscles and she has a slight weakness in her right hand. We have no idea what the course of the disease will be from here on. We will begin traveling to all the places she has always wanted to go and will continue as long as she is able. First trip is to Italy leaving next Saturday and doing a fourteen day Trafalgar tour of the whole country. From then on we don't know, probably Scotland/Ireland/Great Britain in September and then others as time and money permit.
This has been rather long, but I thought some of my old friends might want to know about this.
All my best to all of you and your families.
PREVIOUSLY, LANCE WROTE:
I currently live in Sonoita, Arizona.
Lived in southern Arizona continuously since I was
six years old and moved to Tucson. Places I lived
either full or part-time: Mostly Tucson, then Casa
Grande, Oracle, Superior, Sierra Vista and ended in
Sonoita for now.
Travels - Europe twice, most U.S. states, Mexico lots
of times, Canada. Want to get to South America but
haven't made it yet.
Married to Maria (Bisbee H.S. Grad.) and both of us
got various degrees at the U of A. Three kids -
Patrick 38, Claire 37, Tom 36. Have eight grand kids ages from 2 mos. to ten years.
EDUCATION AND CAREER:
Bachelor of Music and MEd from U of A. Taught band for 17 years; two at Casa Grande H.S. and fifteen at CDO (Canyon del Oro) H.S.
After teaching was Principal or assistant principal
at six schools around the state; mostly middle
schools with one high school and one elementary.
Currently, I have a business repairing band instruments for schools and private individuals. This year I've taken care of the instruments for school systems in Nogales, Sierra Vista, Douglas, Tombstone, Rio Rico, Marana, Amphi and Huachuca City as well as private customers from two stores in Sierra Vista as well as American Music in Tucson.
Perhaps that will explain why my list of avocations is quite short. I also serve as vice president of the board of directors of our local electric co-op serving 45,000 customers in southern Arizona.
I'm pretty passionate about the subject of kids and
education. I've been involved in it for a long time
and feel that our state legislature, if it had its
way, would eliminate state funding and leave it up to
the individual districts to get funds. This self-
interested and miserly view by most Republican
legislators has turned me into a passionate
Some of you might remember that I played the
saxophone in high school. I continued with that and
have played professionally around Tucson and Arizona.
Currently have a saxophone quartet with three guys in
Sierra Vista. I'm the soprano player and have a lot
of fun with that.
In 2002 I went to Belgium to the town where Adolphe Sax (inventor of the saxophone) was born. On his
birthday (Nov. 9)every four years they have a
gathering of sax players to commemorate his birthday
and in '02 I played in a concert with 1311 other sax
players. It was tremendous fun and I ended up with a
Belgian friend who I email regularly to this day.
Editor's note: Lance was a member of the Nightbeats, Catalina rock group, and you can hear his "wailing sax" on all their records.
LANCE'S CURRENT GROUP: