By Rafael Ilano
English Professor David Sanor, M.A., went into intensive care on Dec. 29, 2014 at University Hospital, a transitional care facility. As of Jan. 16, he was still hospitalized but his family was looking to transfer him to a rehabilitation center.
Sanor was diagnosed last year with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that progressively degenerates the neurons of the central nervous system, and which leads to wasting of the muscles and paralysis. Initial symptoms of a person with ALS include muscles feeling stiff andmuscles that twitch. As a result, a specific person can experience a tough time speaking, swallowing, and eventually, a hard time breathing. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease and it can only be treated.
Last semester, Sanor could not control his hands and arms anymore therefore he required a wheelchair because he also felt weak and he was worried that his legs might also cause problems.
English Professor Yvette Benavides, who volunteered last semester to help co-teach Sanor’s classes, said that despite his condition, he was very committed to his English classes.
“I observed his tremendous depth of knowledge on the subject,” Benavides said. “I also was able to see up-close his commitment to his teaching and his students. He did not want to miss class. He was very present during class meetings.”
He also taught an online class last semester. He insisted on doing all of the work on Lake Online himself. Using a mouth stick, he was able to type assignments, grade, post comments, and fulfill all other duties through Lake Online.
He remained as dedicated as ever to his students and all of his duties as chairperson of the English department in spite of the debilitating effects of the illness,” Benavides said.
Sanor has taught at the university for over four decades.
“In our department, (Sanor) has always been a respectful, kind, fair, gentle man,” Benavides said. “I have known him for almost 20 years. I consider myself very blessed to call him a friend. So many of us on this campus feel that way.”