Retired Boone County Sheriff’s Detective determined to ‘stay in the fight’ against ALS

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. - Close your eyes and imagine getting the diagnosis you have just a few years to live. The disease has no cure. It can happen to any of us.

It happened to retired Detective Sam Scott with the Boone County Sheriff's Office. Scott retired in May.

"It's been a great go," Scott said. "It really has, wasn't ready to retire yet."

Scott worked for the sheriff's office for 19 years.

"We don't give up," Scott explained. "We keep going until we get the answer that we were looking for."

Little did he know, his determination at the department would be key in his retirement.

"We have to concentrate on this now," Scott said.

Last June, Scott started noticing changes in his body.

"At our SRT training, which is a special response training at the sheriff's office, we were doing some drills and I kind of stumbled," Scott remembered. "It was very out of character for me. I started to lose my balance quite a bit and I started noticing muscle weakness."

He went to his doctor who sent him on to a neurologist who ordered testing.

"It was on December the 10th that they finally diagnosed me with ALS," Scott said.

His son, Austin, remembers the day like it was yesterday.

"We met at my house, all of us kids, just like you would take any other devastating news," Scott said.

ALS is fatal. Scott's muscles are wasting away. The ALS foundation said once the disease starts it almost always progresses.

"I have to have help getting up and down now, just cause the core and the legs are pretty weak right now," Scott explained.

His wife and six children help a lot. His wife only works the weekend shifts at the hospital where she is a nurse.

"I text all the kids to make sure they can help me out on the weekends," Rachel Scott explained. "That's what we're here for, we're here for each other."

Austin Scott followed in his dad's footsteps. He is an officer with the Lebanon Police Department.

"Now, it's kind of backwards," Scott said. "He can ride with me like I used to ride with him when I was a kid."

Scott said his dad is the 'superhero' in the family. Everyone in their crew lives by the motto 'stay in the fight.'

"It means to not give up," Rachel Scott said. "Support him, do whatever we can."

Their daughter Katelyn Peinado said family support means the difference of fighting or giving up.

"He needs to know that he's not alone," Peinado said.

Scott said he does not look at the time he might have left. He enjoys precious family time with his six children and six grandchildren.

"We have a seventh grandchild coming in July," Rachel Scott said.

After family and fighting his fight, the remainder of his strength is spent trying to find a cure.

"I was a detective so I like to research," Scott said. "I'm always asking questions to the folks at the ALS clinic in Indy. That's where we go now."

He is a man determined to do what he has always done: stay in the fight for himself and others.

"Everyday I still have a smile on my face," Scott said. "Nothing's going to take that away."

If you would like to help Scott 'stay in the fight' they have efforts you can join.

They are selling rubber bracelets saying #stayinthefight. Those are designed by his daughter. Those are available for purchase costing $5 for adults or $3 for children. Just email slscott@co.boone.in.us.

There is a motorcycle ride, dinner and silent auction happening on Saturday, June 15. Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. at the American Legion located on Hendricks Drive in Lebanon. The cost is $20 per bike.

There is an El Meson fundraiser on June 19 beginning at 11:00 a.m on Lebanon Street. Ten percent of all sales for the day go to Scott's fight.

Then, on September 21, you are invited to sign up for Scott's team, 'Sam Scott Stay in the Fight' for the Indianapolis Walk for ALS at White Water River State Park.

Registration for the walk begins at 8:00 a.m. and the walk begins at 10:00 a.m. You can sign up at http://web.alsa.org/site/TR?fr_id=13860&pg=entry. 

The Scott Family ultimately wants Sam's fight to change the lives of others. You can learn more about ALS by visiting www.alsa.org.

"It's me fighting for my family," Scott said. "It's not about me, it's for my family and to discover a cure for ALS."

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