Guest Post: Our Daughter Wanted to Cure ALS, But Was Murdered in the Parkland Shooting – Help Make Her Dream Come True

By April Schentrup

Update: As of March 2020, generous supporters have grown the Carmen Schentrup ALS Research Fund to over $170,000. Carmen’s mother, April Schentrup, says, “We are so grateful and humbled at the outpouring of support for Carmen and her dream. We have always believed that Carmen would change the world and we’re touched that her story is resonating with so many people.”

Our beloved daughter, Carmen Schentrup, was taken from us on February 14, one of 17 victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Her life was cut too short. For the last month, we have tried to make sense of the senseless, and we have grieved with the other families.

Carmen was silly, playful, and caring. She often made us laugh and was always looking to help others. She had wonderful friends, many of whom helped us in our time of need. She is deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Carmen was also a dedicated straight “A” student. She was accepted into the University of Florida Honors Program and as a University of Washington Purple and Gold Scholar. She was excited to begin college this fall. The day after her tragic death, she received a letter informing her she was a National Merit Finalist.

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Carmen wanted to make the world a better place. She was determined to become a leading medical researcher and discover a cure for ALS. We truly believe that Carmen was going to change the world.

Today, we are announcing the creation of the “Carmen Schentrup ALS Research Fund.” Any funds raised through Carmen’s fund at The ALS Association will go directly to the most promising ALS research. We are establishing the fund with an initial gift of $5,628.84, Carmen’s entire life savings.

Please join Carmen in her quest to find a cure for ALS by making a donation here. We hope that, with enough help from all of you, Carmen’s dream of a world freed from ALS can be achieved. Thank you for your support.

To our dear Carmen, you are a bright, beautiful, young woman bursting into the world. You are an amazing daughter, sister, and friend. You fill our lives with loving memories that we will always cherish. You are a gift from God and into His arms you return. May His divine embrace now hug you so very tenderly where we cannot. We love and miss you dearly.

14 thoughts on “Guest Post: Our Daughter Wanted to Cure ALS, But Was Murdered in the Parkland Shooting – Help Make Her Dream Come True”

  1. I am so very sorry for your loss. Senseless and avoidable. If I’m not being too intrusive, why did Carmen choose ALS specifically? I lost my husband to this awful disease.


  2. What a beautiful way to carry on her dream! I hope her memory inspires researchers to push harder for a cure!😇🙏💔
    How wonderful of you to think of others at this time when you are grieving such a senseless loss of a beautiful soul. Thank you for your generosity.


  3. I am making a donation in honor of your beautiful daughter who died in our community. I pray for peace, love and healing for your family and all that were honored to know her. I will share this in my spiritual group and my personal page. Her life wasn’t lived in vain and she will always be remembered. Laura Uzun


  4. I thought the closest I would cone to Parkland would be staying at my sister’s house. I didn’t know a current and urgent closeness would come from the shooting. I have ALS and we all need to fight for a cure, not each other and especially our kids. They all have hopes and dreams and Carmen’s is the same as mine.


  5. To Carmen’s family:
    I am a 67-year-old physician who has been living with ALS. Your letter about the tragic loss of your daughter Carmen was very moving and courageous. I cried and cried before I composed myself and thought about the great loss to you and to our society. You are incredible people who have sprung into action to try to convert your unthinkable pain into good for others.
    As a physician I spent my life trying to help my patients live longer and healthier. The tragic loss of life and the chronic suffering that comes from gun injuries in our country is just senseless. I live very close to the south side of Chicago and practiced medicine for 35 years at one of the major trauma centers receiving gun violence victims. Whether it is mass shootings or gang violence it is all senseless. Societies such as Japan and others allow their citizens to own guns for hunting or recreation but they have strict laws and procedures which prevent criminals and mentally ill people from having access to war weapons. As Justice Stevens said in a recent op-ed in the New York Times it is time to repeal the Second Amendment. The debate in our country about gun laws and gun control has nothing to do with freedom but everything to do with…
    Carmen would have made tremendous contributions to the medical field and she may have been the one, who would put all the pieces together and come up with a cure for ALS. What a kid you had, congratulations. After I read your letter there was no question I was going to contribute and when I went to the contribution page, it hit me that if you, despite your pain, contributed all of Carmen’s savings I had to match it. I asked my sister Anastasia to read your letter and she was also moved and will be making a contribution.
    Thank you for bringing up such a wonderful daughter and thank you for thinking of others and loving others at a time when society has failed you.


  6. This caught my eye, heart, and soul. I’m a veteran teacher who lost my mother to ALS. I have a passion for teaching high school and was devastated by the shooting. Just a year after losing my mother, I transferred to the high school from the middle school. I had no clue I was going to have Mitch Albom’s book, “Tuesday’s with Morrie,” thrown in my lap my first year there. My precious students and I stumbled through it together. I am curious as to your daughter’s connection and drive to find a cure. I tried for awhile, unsuccessfully, starting a research fund in my mother’s name. I had a business venture I had hoped would generate money to be donated in her memory, but my heart outweighed my talent! I still dabble a small amount in my unfulfilled dream, so I would love to know more about her so that maybe I could contribute to a cause that might have more interest. In the end, it’s all for His glory. We are just waves, or part of the ocean as Morrie’s aphorism pointed out to me.


  7. The loss of any child is exceedingly painful but the loss of a promising daughter such as Carmen is devastating. Our communities will be the poorer for such a tragedy. My heart goes out to you and to the victims of senseless violence everywhere.


  8. I am truly sorry for your loss and I pray that God places his loving arms around your family always! What a blessing Carmen was and continues to be … To All! God bless you!!!💞


  9. I would like to commend Carmen for her dedication towards wanting to become a medical researcher and wanting to find a cure for ALS. I lost my husband to this horrific disease March 26th 2016. He fought the fight till the very end. He was a 100% disabled veteran. I would also like to thank the Tampa VA for all the care we received during this time. My heart goes out to Carmen’s family as I know your pain. Praying for your hearts to heal. We will never forgot our loved ones and can only ask God to help us overcome the pain. God bless.


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