Spotlight on SuperSTARS

David Scoble, Lead Technician

Team Scoble Raising Funds for an FOP Cure

David Scoble became interested in developing a skilled trade when he helped his father-in-law moonlight on some plumbing jobs. Shortly after, he obtained his master plumber’s license and began his career. Today, David serves as a lead technician for Elek’s commercial and industrial division, where he partners with project managers and oversees plumbing installations around the Lehigh Valley.

“I can’t see myself working anywhere else. Everyone gets along so well—from the field teams to the office staff. Some employers treat techs like they are separate from the rest of the company, but Elek works hard to keep everyone in the loop and make decisions that are best for customers and employees,” says David. “They want to make our lives better and provide opportunities for advancement.”

Though David knows there are many advantages to working at Elek, he says the company’s honesty stands out. “At other places, what you see is not always what you get,” says David. “At Elek, we don’t sell you something you don’t need, and we won’t tell you something that isn’t true. We keep our word.”

The Scoble Family: Warriors for FOP

According to David, another of Elek’s benefits is the company’s commitment to family values—which has been essential during his son’s fight with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). Joshua was diagnosed with FOP when he was just three months old. When unpredictable circumstances arise with Josh’s health, David says Elek offers the flexibility and availability he needs to support his son.

FOP is a rare genetic disease that slowly turns ligaments, tendons and muscles to bone. Over time, the condition locks up the joints and prevents normal movement. Injuries, infections and other trauma can trigger inflammatory episodes that lead to flare-ups—which present in the form of tumor-like lumps. “There’s no rhyme or reason for how the disease progresses or when the lumps will occur,” says David. “There are around 800 known cases throughout the world, and no two cases are ever the same.”

David’s wife, Stacy, began her career as a medical assistant and has worked as a practice support specialist in the Lehigh Valley Hospital system for the last 20 years. Her job in the healthcare industry gives her unique insight into the medical terminology and insurance red tape the Scobles must deal with on a regular basis. According to David, Stacy is also Josh’s first-line caregiver and the “rock” of the family. “If she wasn’t around, Josh and I would both be in trouble,” he laughs.

Eleven years ago, David’s sister-in-law started Joshua’s Future of Promises: a foundation that seeks to fund FOP research and create disease awareness. With fundraisers like Bingo for a Cure and other annual initiatives, Joshua’s Future of Promises has raised just under $1,000,000. “We don’t keep any of the donations for personal expenses,” said David. “We’re proud of the fact that Josh’s foundation has contributed so much to FOP research at hospitals and institutions.”

This year’s Bingo for a Cure will be held Sunday, March 18 at the Allentown Fairgrounds. With over 1600 participants and businesses like Elek supporting the cause, the group is quickly outgrowing the space. Over the last four years, the well-attended tournament has enabled the Scoble family to donate significant funds to the International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association. The 2018 Bingo event is close to selling out, and the foundation invites people to give online if they cannot participate: joshuasfop.com/events.html.

Living with FOP

Joshua is a spirited 11-year-old who attends public school with the help of a full-time aide. He has inherited his dad’s love of fishing, hunting and being outdoors, and his family tries to get him outside as much as possible. “It’s tough to find places that can accommodate Josh’s specific needs, but we do as much as we can,” says David. Fortunately, a GoFundMe set up by Josh’s aunt has allowed the Scobles to begin the search for a specialized van and make their home more accessible for Josh’s wheelchair.

“We are so thankful to have the support of an amazing network of friends, family and employers. We couldn’t do this without them,” David says. “The Elek team understands Josh’s situation and has been really great. I manage projects that are close to home, so I’m available if my son needs me or if there’s an emergency. That type of flexibility is hard to find.”

Help Fund an FOP Cure

Currently, Joshua Scoble is participating in a medical trial for a drug designed to curb bone growth. “It’s the only treatment option we have right now,” says David. “He can still walk somewhat, and it’s proving promising so far.”

With the help of millions in funding, the Scobles and many participating researchers believe an FOP cure is within reach. To learn more about Joshua’s Future of Promises, Bingo for a Cure and other FOP education and support initiatives, visit joshuasfop.comClick here to donate online or by check. One hundred percent of donations are used for FOP research, disease awareness and family advocacy.

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