Sam Neale, a brown-haired, 17-year-old high school boy from Albuquerque, N.M., knows more about leadership than 60-year-old Vice President Mike Pence.
Neale, who recently underwent five months of chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, said he wanted to give back to the doctors and nurses who cared for him in the best way he knew how: creating a funding drive through the Make-a-Wish Foundation to provide them with masks and other needed supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Neale had spent nearly two months in the hospital and underwent five months of chemotherapy after physicians discovered he had cancer after he was hospitalized in a skiing accident. Instead of seeking an expensive gaming system or a fancy truck from the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the teen asked for the organization’s help in getting supplies for health-care workers who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle and in dire need.
“The staff at Presbyterian (Hospital) was really great,” he told the Journal. “They helped me through chemo. They kind of helped me get back to normal.”
It’s inspiring that such a young man truly understands what leadership means during one of the most horrific times the world has endured.
Sadly, such leadership has fallen on tone deaf ears from Pence, a lackey of Bossman Trump, who regularly brags about not wearing a mask, and who recently flouted Mayo Clinic rules requiring all visitors to wear masks.
Yes, Pence’s wife — or “Mother” as he calls her, said he didn’t know about the rules. And yes, Pence said that he gets tested regularly for the virus and since he figures he’s not infected, wanted to “look them (clinic staff) in the eye and say ‘thank you.'”
But when we talk about leadership, it’s about owning our truth, owning our faults. It’s about modeling for America by wearing a damn mask in a time of fear, pestilence and uncertainty.
So, for you, Mr. Vice President, to say you didn’t know, or to let your wife cover for you, or that you needed to “see the Mayo Clinic staff’s eyes,” is not taking accountability for your actions. No sir, the vice president of the United States — as you arrogantly reminded America — is always briefed about protocols.
But if a young man from Albuquerque knows that leadership means recognizing that it’s not about him, then it’s about time you learned that lesson, too.
Thank you, Sam Neale, for demonstrating what leadership looks like.