The Sam Schneider Legacy
In support of Sam’s vision, we have created The Sam Schneider Legacy. Our mission is to raise funds for Ewing Sarcoma research, raise awareness for Ewing Sarcoma and pediatric cancers, provide education for medical professionals, and tell Sam's story.
Sam’s battle with cancer began when he was home from college his Freshman year for Thanksgiving break in Nov 2019. After a few very active days full of skiing and playing basketball with his brother Jay his hip began hurting, then a few days later he was having a lot of pain in his neck. We all thought it was from sleeping wrong in his bed but he planned to see the doctor at the clinic when he was back at school. The doctor gave him a muscle relaxant and some pt exercises and that seemed to help but the hip flared up again so he went back the next week. They became very concerned and decided that he needed some bloodwork and an x-ray of a lump on his forearm (although he wasn't having pain there). The next day (December 11th) the doctor told us that Sam had a lesion on his arm that they suspected was osteosarcoma. Needless to say, we were all extremely concerned, and when our family doctor was informed he wanted Sam to come home immediately for more testing. After picking him up in Durango, Colorado our lives became a whirlwind of doctor's appointments, tests, and mounting bad news.
On December 18th, 2019 Sam was admitted to Children's Hospital and a biopsy of the lesion on his forearm determined that he had metastatic Ewing's Sarcoma. The PET scan showed lesions on his vertebrae, pelvis, liver, and cancerous cells in his bone marrow. He began chemotherapy on December 21st and received 14 chemotherapy treatments and 31 radiation treatments over the next 8 months. In Aug of 2020, Sam was given an “all clear” scan test result and we rejoiced. Unfortunately, after a short respite from the battle, Sam’s cancer returned in October, and he was told that his cancer could not be cured due to its’ aggressive return and growth. He then began palliative chemotherapy and radiation to slow the growth of his tumors and alleviate pain. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Sam created an awesome bucket list of adventures for our family to enjoy with him. Not only did Sam want us to make the most of his remaining days, he wanted to help others so he spent his final months working on key Ewings awareness projects.
As a passionate mountain biker, Sam reached out to this community to initiate an awareness campaign which involved Sam’s creation of a custom race jersey that was sent across the globe to the top mountain biking professionals in the world to wear while recording a video doing some of their best tricks in honor of Sam’s goal. These videos will ultimately be compiled as a tribute and awareness movie weaving Sam’s courageous story in with contributions from his biking heroes from around the globe. Additionally, Sam began planning for the creation of an annual fundraising mountain biking Enduro race to be held in Colorado to ensure his vision of increasing awareness and focus on finding a cure for Ewings persisted after his passing.
Throughout Sam’s treatment, he refused to give up or give in to feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he was the epitome of bravery, love, and perseverance. He met every appointment and clinic visit with a smile that took over the room and improved everyone’s day. He embraced his battle as he did his life, with positivity and kindness for others. It is out of this kindness that Sam wanted to increase awareness of Ewing Sarcoma in hopes of enabling increased early detection for others as his cancer was detected well past becoming metastatic, which is so common for Ewing’s patients.