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George Samuel Downs

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Published in January 2023

George was never one to depend on others. If something needed fixing around the house, he was going to do it himself (no matter how many trips to Home Depot or Ace it might require). He insisted on being able to defend himself and earned a black belt in the process. He was a self-taught guru of investment strategy and managed the family finances for many years. And while I don’t know this for sure, I suspect he refused to take management positions at work because the idea of working through others, rather than directly making his own contributions, was simply anathema to him.

ALS is a cruel disease. It robbed George of his independence, self-reliance and autonomy with a progression that was as unrelenting as it was inexorable. It’s impossible to explain the level of care he required to anyone who hasn’t experienced it first hand. But he received this care at home, surrounded by his family. He depended on those who had always depended on him. And this gave us the chance to connect with George in new and meaningful ways, to demonstrate our love for him, to express our appreciation and gratitude for everything he’s done for us and everything he’s given us.

CCALS made this possible. They provided our family with resources, referrals, recommendations, equipment, transportation and, above all, compassion and understanding. It would have been impossible to care for George at home without their incredible support. CCALS gifted us with multiple years of seeing George daily and keeping him included in our lives.

If you are able: please help CCALS pass this gift on to other families in honor and in memory of George.