Dom Somera answered the call for a staff writer nearly eight months ago. I remember his first email like it was yesterday, not because it was flowery or overly cheerful. Dom’s knowledge of Los Angeles Rams’ history jumped out at me from the first line. His passion for fulfilling his dream of writing about the team drew my interest immediately, and he soon joined our staff.
However, it wasn’t Dom’s acceptance onto our staff that struck home for me. Instead, it was his response that both broke my heart and warmed it. His voice cracked as he explained that he’s spent much of the last few years in pain and unable to work. Dom told me about the fire that changed his life and how virtually everything had been taken from him. Writing about the Rams gave him the chance to live a little bit more. His body failed him, but his mind was still there.
Dom jumped into the water head first. Eventually, he even started helping with web development. We’ve been pushing towards a site rebuild for a while, and he began spearheading it. He couldn’t work much, due to the pain, but it gave him something to do. Dom couldn’t hike or do much of anything else, but he could write code and write about the team he loved. Eventually, I even talked with him about starting a podcast about his beloved Oakland Athletics. That was when he told me that the pain was getting worse, and that he probably couldn’t do it.
A Big Heart
Meanwhile, I faced my own health scare. When I told the staff about it, he reached out to every member of our team and asked them to write a message of encouragement for me. Dom took all those messages and used our beta site to build a wall of support for me. Those words encouraged me as I entered the doctor’s office scared out of my mind, and they served as a reminder that there are people outside of my family that care.
That’s what Dom is good at. He knows how to show people how special they are. Dom always welcomes new staff members and does his best to make everyone feel at home. His positivity and belief in our mission has never faltered. His passion for the Rams ranks second to his love of people, which is why it’s heartbreaking to see his health keeping him in hiding. The world needs people like Dom out there. He adds a bit of light to a world that is often dark.
Unfortunately, I started noticing Dom disappearing more and more over the last couple months. It wasn’t until we experienced a site issue last week that I discovered why. I connected with Dom to figure out a solution to the issue, but I realized that he was no longer capable of helping out. Dom’s pain had become so severe that he couldn’t focus long enough to solve the problem, let alone write. We were losing him. I was losing him. It became clear that if action wasn’t taken soon, Dom would live out his remaining years with no joy, no hope, and none of his dreams fulfilled.
This is why I reached out to my staff, other Rams content creators, and even podcasters from other sports, and asked us to help get him the care he needs. Doctors have continually proven unable to diagnose what’s causing the horrible pain and some have even rejected his case. This led him to look at the University of Washington’s medical team, but finances and family factors held him back. Now he’s trying again, with our help. Below, you can read his story. Hopefully, we can give Dom his life back. He’s a fighter. Let’s help him take this fight into the later rounds.
Click here to read Dom’s story in his own words, donate, or just leave a message of encouragement: