By Meg Schomann
Last August Maurice Daniels and his family were shocked when they received the official medical diagnosis. The 40 year old Lincoln, DE resident, husband of Tyna Daniels and father of seven found out that the months of numbness in his hands and feet and breathing problems were caused by neurosarcoidosis, a chronic, but rare disease which primarily affects the lungs but can attack other organs as well. “My doctor thought that I had asthma, but his treatments weren’t really helping. I had to find another doctor and yet another, because I knew that something was really wrong as I was having trouble walking and I was having trouble getting my breath.” The disease also produces nodules that can appear anywhere. A mass on his spine caused the numbness and made walking difficult while another tumor was found in his lung and is responding well to treatment.
His prognosis requires many doctors’ visits, medical tests and medications due to his compromised immune system. Those diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis suffer daily with many symptoms and since it is incurable it’s likely that that Maurice will not be able to return to work in his field. Mr. Daniels said “This is a disease that I’ll have for the rest of my life, but I won’t let it take me down. My family depended on me and now we depend on each other, even the little ones are helping more and my wife takes very good care of me, managing all of my medications and doctor’s appointments.”
Mr. Daniels, also a minister at the Lincoln Pentecostal Church of God, worked as a plumbing/lead service technician with Bill Rust Plumbing near Milford but has been unable to work for months and is in the process of getting qualified for disability. In the meantime, his employers, Bill and Laura Rust, decided to take action and began collecting donations to assist this family of 9. Laura Rust was inspired by the response “Maurice is a great guy with a loving and gentle spirit, he’s like a family member to us. I sent out postcards to our customers telling them of his condition and they sent donations. But Maurice has a large family to support and a mortgage to pay and I thought we can do more if we involved the community.”
The Rust’s planned a benefit “Valentine Dance for Daniels” on Saturday, February 9th from 7 to 11 pm at the Milford Elks Lodge featuring live music by Down Tyme, Greg Ellingsworth and DJ Slim with appetizers, sodas, sweets, a cash bar, 50/50 raffle and silent auction. Mrs. Rust explained “The whole Valentine Dance event blossomed from a caring idea. It’s like that movie, Field of Dreams, ‘build it and they will come’ and the community and business support has been wonderful, despite this economy, I think that it’s a testament to the man that Maurice is because people want to help in some way- some give in small ways and others in larger ways. All is needed and appreciated.”
Mrs. Rust continued “The Valentine Dance for Daniels will be a nice, date night out for Valentine’s. The first performer, Greg Ellingsworth, plays accoustic guitar, featuring songs by The Beatles and James Taylor and such, then we’ll kick up the energy with DJ Slim and the Down Tyme band who perform songs like Brick House and Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes to Lady Gaga. It’ll be a fun evening for a very important cause. We could always use more silent auction items and donations are accepted by calling Rust Plumbing at 302-422-6061.”
The Daniels are amazed by the community’s support. Mrs. Daniels said “We are touched by this outpouring of kindness. I wish that I could thank each person personally. With God’s grace, we are just taking it day by day, and praying for the best.”
Mr. Daniels added “The help from my plumbing service customers, our church and community has been a blessing. Our children are witnessing the goodness of friends and strangers taking action in our life.”
Valentine Dance for Daniels, Saturday, February 9th from 7 to 11 pm at the Milford Elks Lodge. Adult tickets are $20pp/ $35 per couple, available via Rust Plumbing 302-422-6061 or at Blooming Boutique 33 North Walnut Street in downtown Milford. Tickets at the door are $25pp/$45 per couple.