Do you know Larry Schneider? Ontario man seeks help from public to recall his past
RODNEY, ONT. -- Larry Schneider has a plea for those across Ontario who may know him - as he grapples to recall his own past.
“If you were my student, if you ever worked with me in any capacity, please help me figure out who I am - who I was.”
Raised in Listowel, Ont. but now living in Rodney, Ont., the 62-year-old knows he was educator at multiple schools in Ontario’s north, London (at South Secondary School) and St. Thomas and Elgin County.
He also knows he has a family, including his grown children and wife Gwen Schneider, but that’s about it.
“So I don’t remember my own children growing up, I don’t remember my own wedding.”
His memory has been damaged three times.
First it was in a near fatal car crash, then again by a benign growth on his brain in 2017, and most recently from a build-up of toxins due to a liver illness that eventually required a transplant.
Gwen said on his worst days her husband was lost in his own surroundings.
“He didn’t know who we were. He had no idea who we were. So that was the big aha,” she said.
Still, Larry knows he's fortunate.
“From the toxins, to the car accident to the liver disease - the trifecta - you know boom, boom, boom. The best thing is I’m alive. I can articulate, I just don’t know anything.”
Through his own desire to learn, Larry has now recovered enough to relearn words, books and plays he loved during his teaching career. Still, it is a struggle.
Some may credit his second career for not giving up the faith - he was ordained as a United Church minister, and was two years into his first post when his brain ailments forced him to step away. He had studied at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Divinity from 2011 to 2014.
He says he now rereads the Bible passages he once quoted from memory.
“I used to be able to quote at great length from the Bible. Today, maybe I could quote for you the Lord’s Prayer.”
If you knew Larry as a friend, student or parishioner, and can help him , you can send him an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“My mind is like a vault in the bank. Full of safety deposit boxes and there’s been a robbery and somebody has broken in."
That leaves it to friends, students, colleagues and acquaintances to help him replace what was stolen.