To say that Sam Mercer had a tougher life than most is an understatement. He was born in Ethiopia and lost a leg when he was an infant. After eventually making it to the United States, his first foster family didn’t stick. He later was sent to Scarborough, Maine, where he was adopted by Dan Mercer.
Once settled in Scaborough, the younger Mercer thrived. He was a successful member of the varsity wrestling team, and later became a student equipment manager of the Scarborough football team.
Mercer reportedly told a female friend that he planned to end his life on Friday, with his friend immediately alerting the elder Mercer. He in turn told Scarborough police, who rushed to the house but did not arrive in time.
Among other pursuits, Mercer allegedly was a prolific writer of music and lyrics.
“Me and Josh usually sat with him at lunchtime. That’s how we started having convos with him. He was still trying to figure out his life and who he was. I liked writing music but he really loved writing music,” senior football player Anthony Griffin told the Press Herald. “My heart just broke. It was such a surprise and a shock. I hate that it happened.”
The elder Mercer is now busy planning his son’s funeral, which the associate chaplain at Long Creek Youth Development Center has little disposable income for. In a touching final tribute, donations for Sam’s funeral flooded in shortly after a GoFundMe drive was established, which more than $16,000 already outstripping the original $15,000 goal initially requested to defray the cost of the funeral.
“Sam’s super power was his ability to inspire people,” Dan Mercer, Sam Mercer’s adoptive father as of February. “He was a survivor. He was loved by everyone. He resonated with people because of his disability and how he approached it.”