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The Curtis R. Vance Foundation

The Curtis R. Vance Foundation is a nonprofit corporation, whose purposes include but are not limited to public education and funding of research for a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrigís disease, and providing assistance to the victims of the disease and their families.


Curtis with ALS- 1999, 25 years oldThe Curtis R. Vance Foundation was created by Curtis Vance and his wife and caregiver, Heidi, in the winter of 1999. Diagnosed with familial ALS in December, 1998 at the age of 25, Curtis died in December 1999 as a result of respiratory failure. Throughout the time that Curtis lived with ALS, he remained positive that a cure would be found in his lifetime, and simultaneously lived each day as though it could be his last. He learned how to live while he prepared to die. His humor, love, and generosity flowed out of him and into every person who met him, both before and during his illness. 

Heidi and Curtis before ALS, Spring 1996 Six months after the diagnosis, he questioned Heidi with a smile and a tear, "Why canít you find the cure?" And, during one of his last days, he declared to her, "I pray that no one else in my family, or in the world, will ever feel the way I do now." Although mentally strong and emotionally healthy, Curtis was physically exhausted. He could no longer move his legs and arms, breathe on his own, or eat and drink without the aid of a feeding tube. His voice was soft and slurred, and since his facial muscles had recently deteriorated, a smile was almost an impossible task. But, one could still sense his spirit in his eyes, and it is his spirit that has pushed 25-year-old Heidi forward since the day Curtis left his riddled body. When her days of physically caring for Curtis came to a halt, she began dedicating the hours to their foundation, and hopes that someday she can fulfill her husbandís dreams.

NOTE: The Internal Revenue Service recognizes The Curtis R. Vance Foundation as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.