by Anthony Paola
Team Gleason helped us with grants for me to bank my voice and then for the Permobil seat elevator in my power wheelchair. My wife, LeAnn, noticed on their website that they do adventures for people with ALS. So, she wrote them. I’ve been a Las Vegas Raiders fan since 1969 and have never been to a Raiders’ home game. We even named our dog “George Blanda.” This has been on my bucket list almost all of my life.
So we are off on our road trip (three days, two nights) from Oregon City, Oregon to Las Vegas, Nevada and then back. We had a four night stay at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. On October 10th, we made our way to the brand new Las Vegas Raider stadium to see them play against the Chicago Bears. I will say we had our ups and downs along the way, but when I got to my seat, I turned to my wife and she could see my dimples and my big smile which she hasn’t probably seen for quite some time. At that moment, life seemed to be just the way it was supposed to be. The Raiders did not win this day and that did not matter, you see, it’s about moments and memories – not for me but for the ones closest to me as when I leave this world they are the ones that have to live with the memories of this ugly disease that we walked together, now they have the wonderful memories the moments of this adventure that was full of love, joy, and laughter.
I want to thank Mr. Gleason and his team for the opportunity to feel the feelings that come with moments like this, but most of all for letting my wife have this memory. I want to give A BIG thank you to Emily, your adventure coordinator. She went above and beyond to make sure all our needs were met, huge hug!!
With much love, Anthony Paola