SamJam is about a long journey for a man who wants to give back… and pay ahead. Sam Oswald underwent spinal fusion surgery when he was four years old. Along with the months of recuperation from the surgery and learning to walk again, Sam also learned of the diagnosis that would follow him throughout his life—neurofibromatosis (NF). A funny sounding affliction, but a neurological disorder that strikes 1 in every 2,500 people. While you may not have heard of NF, it affects more people than Muscular Dystrophy, Tay-Sachs and Huntington ’s disease combined.
Since that early age, Sam has had two brain tumors, shunt revisions, bone grafting on both legs, knee surgery, dermal tumor removal, and eye surgery. Most recently, Sam completed two surgeries for a rare tumor in his leg, radiation and chemo therapies, and is left with a lower leg that no longer functions.
In the last year, Sam has undergone additional surgeries to remove a tumor in his chest and a recurrence of the cancer in his leg.
Now, at 36 years old, Sam has much he could complain about, but you won’t hear it. Sam continues to lead a very positive life, live independently, and is a friend to everyone he meets. The years of treatment and courage would not be apparent to people first meeting Sam.
After all this, Sam thinks it’s time. Time to give back… to thank those that have helped and supported him. He also wants to pay it forward so other patients with NF can get the assistance they need, research can continue and the public can be more aware of this disorder that very well may strike someone you know. One of Sam’s passions is music of all kinds... and that, my friends, was the start of SamJam!
Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, supporters, and everyone who attended, we have been able to raise $67,000 for NF Midwest during the first six SamJams! Join with us to the make SamJam 2021 even better!
Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a complex, often devastating set of genetic disorders with possible complications throughout the entire body that may also hold the genetic mystery to a host of other human ailments. Affecting approximately 1 in 2,500 people or 2 million people worldwide, it appears equally in all races, ethnic groups and both sexes.
A common complication for a person with NF is the growth of tumors on the nerves anywhere in and on the body. There are currently several separate, distinct disorders classified as neurofibromatosis. This includes neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), and schwannomatosis. Others are also being identified.
If you or a loved one has NF, it is vital to be armed with a strong knowledge and understanding about the disorder and to see an NF doctor who is not only knowledgeable but also very experienced in the treatment of NF.
More information will be available at SamJam, or go to www.nfmidwest.org for additional information and resources about NF.
SamJam is organized by SamJam4NF, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting NF reseach and assistance to NF patients and their families. Proceeds from SamJam are used to benefit NF Midwest.