February 2022
by Sem and Luda Lederman

My husband Sem Lederman was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2014. He has lost so much in the last 8 years but this horrible disease cannot take away his spirit!

Team Gleason’s motto “No White Flags!” is exactly how Sem approaches things as well!

After he was diagnosed, we decided to live life fully as much as possible. We continue to go on adventures by going on short road trips in our van around California, but due to Sem’s worsening condition we never thought it would be possible to go across the country to visit family in Florida! Sem did not think he would be able to see his aging aunt again but thanks to the incredible generosity of Team Gleason he was able to!

We cannot fully express our deep gratitude to Team Gleason for making Sem’s dream come true! Team Gleason organized our trip from the West Coast to Florida in the most perfect way. They helped ensure Sem and I were able to fly comfortably across the country and have everything taken care of including an aisle chair. An accessible rented van was parked in Miami airport waiting for our pick up. The hotel was wheelchair accessible with a kitchenette. We were so blessed to get help from Team Gleason!

We did so much on our 9-day trip to Florida! In Miami, we visited our relatives – the main purpose of our trip. It was so special for Sem to see his aunt and his family at last! We walked (and Sem rolled on his wheelchair) through the Modern Design district in Miami. We spent a few hours in the beautiful Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and we went to the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach.

We then drove to the south of Florida to Key West. On the way we visited two National Parks: Everglades and Biscayne. We even saw a few alligators there. Key West is a charming small town. We got to spend time with friends exploring it! We visited the Southernmost point of America! We enjoyed beautiful sunsets, street performances, interesting museums, Cuban music and food, old forts, and sunny beaches!

This trip was amazing! Thank you for helping us create priceless memories! It is clear how this trip gave Sem some strength and motivation to keep fighting his terrible disease!

Team Gleason! THANK YOU!
Sem and Luda Lederman