Community supports coach battling rare disease

Dan Copley is battling a rare form of a central nervous system disease and the community is rallying around him in support.

Posted: Dec 16, 2020 10:11 PM
Updated: Dec 16, 2020 11:01 PM

GRAND MEADOW, Minn. - A high school baseball coach and former RCTC football player is facing a new challenge. Dan Copley also owns The Diner in Grand Meadow and is well known for his generosity to the community. After a recent diagnosis, the tables have turned and the community is the one rooting for him.

“There’s a chance it’s going to be the rest of my life,” he said.

Copley is a loving husband, father and assistant coach for the GMLOK baseball team. In May, he began experiencing a host of confusing symptoms. He was diagnosed with a rare central nervous system disease known as neurosarcoidosis. There is no known cure for the inflammatory disease that manifests itself in annoying ways.

“Hearing loss, to dizziness, to the fuzzy head – his balance is off. It’s everything in your body - his hands, his feet. If someone’s poking him with something he doesn’t feel that,” said his wife, Sadie.

As difficult as those struggles are, Dan isn’t letting them slow him down. He can routinely be found behind the grill at his local business, The Diner.

“I get over there, make some of the specials and do some of the baking. (I’ve) just got to stay busy,” he said.

Even though he likes to stay busy his doctors have made it clear he needs to pace himself. Pacing himself means more family time.

“Before, we were running. Sports, sports, sports – that’s all we did all the time and we never took time to do family things as much as we should’ve,” Sadie said.

Dan has to be vigilant and make his health his top priority. Something as minor as the flu or the common cold could have double the impact on his compromised immune system.

His family is now hoping for a miracle.

“That’s the only thing we’d ask for. I just want for him to feel better,” Sadie said.

“It’s taken a tremendous effect on her watching me, she knows who I am,” Dan said. “The boys have been by my side. They have just been a very supportive group and I love my family and I hate that they see me like this.”

Enter the good people of Grand Meadow who have rallied around Dan. In a single week, his supporters contributed more than $12,000 to his GoFundMe page.

“I can’t get over the people that I haven’t talked to in years, I mean 20 years that are donating $200, $100, $50. It just blows me away. The kindness is just very humbling,” he said.

The community isn’t done helping yet. There will be a craft and bake sale at SGI Ag Services in Grand Meadow from 8 a.m.-noon on December 19.

Given there is still a lot that he and his team of doctors don’t understand about the disease at this point, Dan would love to hear from others who have had the disease and how they dealt with the symptoms. He also encourages anyone who might have symptoms that don’t feel right to take a leap of faith and schedule an appointment to get it checked out.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 487374

Reported Deaths: 6589
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1011101588
Ramsey43212805
Dakota36478392
Anoka33391390
Washington22156259
Stearns18774202
St. Louis14838264
Scott13354107
Wright12554116
Olmsted1183389
Sherburne876173
Carver779840
Clay693687
Rice671591
Blue Earth598335
Kandiyohi580174
Crow Wing522382
Chisago500345
Otter Tail484370
Benton448290
Winona419349
Mower408131
Douglas393668
Goodhue387569
Nobles387147
Polk344363
McLeod340250
Beltrami338651
Morrison325647
Itasca314046
Lyon313644
Becker313142
Isanti307656
Steele302311
Carlton300149
Freeborn284124
Pine282416
Nicollet260441
Todd248930
Brown246137
Le Sueur236920
Mille Lacs228547
Cass220724
Waseca209717
Meeker207934
Martin190328
Wabasha18673
Roseau180717
Hubbard160741
Houston158014
Dodge15354
Renville151240
Redwood147027
Fillmore13838
Pennington137016
Chippewa136735
Cottonwood135420
Wadena131320
Faribault124017
Aitkin119133
Watonwan11768
Sibley117310
Rock115814
Kanabec107819
Pipestone101724
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9498
Jackson94010
Swift87918
Pope8085
Marshall78015
Stevens7448
Lake74218
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68616
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62011
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5122
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44468
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3105
Lake of the Woods2201
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335795

Reported Deaths: 5478
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51900558
Linn19487315
Scott17120211
Black Hawk14939293
Woodbury13798214
Johnson1313875
Dubuque12431195
Dallas1020292
Pottawattamie9844146
Story961945
Warren512776
Clinton501584
Cerro Gordo499583
Webster494988
Sioux479469
Marshall463773
Des Moines427861
Muscatine424693
Buena Vista412637
Wapello4035108
Jasper386767
Plymouth368378
Lee354453
Marion340670
Jones285055
Henry279837
Bremer269755
Carroll266749
Crawford252835
Boone243130
Benton240454
Washington238847
Mahaska215646
Jackson209938
Dickinson203040
Tama202665
Kossuth198755
Delaware185840
Clay184125
Winneshiek183028
Fayette179135
Page177819
Buchanan177529
Wright174131
Hamilton173842
Cedar171723
Hardin169739
Harrison167469
Clayton160054
Butler159031
Floyd148141
Mills148120
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee145836
Lyon145541
Allamakee143648
Madison142418
Iowa139823
Hancock137830
Grundy132230
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129411
Cass129051
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123347
Louisa122343
Mitchell120540
Chickasaw119615
Union118831
Sac118618
Shelby117033
Emmet115240
Humboldt113625
Franklin109119
Guthrie109028
Palo Alto101221
Howard99321
Montgomery96836
Clarke94920
Keokuk92329
Monroe89628
Ida81432
Adair81329
Pocahontas80919
Monona76427
Davis76323
Greene73110
Lucas71621
Osceola68315
Worth6677
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53818
Ringgold50520
Audubon4769
Wayne46221
Adams3184
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