Russ Salvatore Goes Above & Beyond for 25-Year Old Woman in Need of Surgery & He’s Hoping YOU Will Too

August 25, 2018

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

We have said it before and there is no doubt – we will say it again. Russell Salvatore, owner of Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More is so kind, caring and giving. He has proven this time and again.

Now, he’s done it again.

Samantha Miller has a rare and debilitating neurological condition and needs surgery – immediately. The medical center was going to cancel the surgery because of the out of network status – until that is – Mr. Salvatore stepped in.

Mr. Salvatore has given $13,500 to the WNY family for the much needed surgery. What’s more – the restaurateur has posted a call to action on Facebook:


Today Samantha Miller is on my Mind. This 25 year old young lady from Alden, NY has a debilitating neurological condition called Chiari Malformation. Basically her skull at the base of her spine cannot hold her brain in place. This causes the brain to fall and puts pressure on her spine causing excruciating pain and temporary paralysis- often DAILY without warning, until the brain shifts back into position. Well Samantha finally found a specialist in Colorado who specializes in correcting this disorder, however the medical center , being out of her network was going to have to cancel the surgery scheduled for this Monday August 27th because the family could not pay the required deposit. Samantha’s family was already in Colorado, and Samantha was practically boarding the plane here in Buffalo on route to join them. That’s when the mother sent me a note asking for some assistance from me and my friends. She explained the hospital already did what they could reducing the surgery price but would have to cancel everything without the required deposit. I knew time was of the essence so I made arrangements to make sure the surgery went on as scheduled Monday and wired the hospital $13500.00. This represented the deposit needed for the more than $50000.00 the entire surgery will cost. I was hoping that perhaps a few of my friends might find themselves having a couple extra bucks they can send her way. She has a go fund me page set up No pressure and believe me I understand everyone has their own causes and everyone probably already does what they can for others, I just couldn’t sleep on this one , thinking this little girls dream of a normal day might not ever happen without some help. God Bless Samantha I’ll give everyone an update Monday after her surgery. Russ.

As for the Miller family – they are amazed and incredibly thankful for such a generous gift.  Shaunna Lynn Blueye, Samantha’s sister sent this to me in a Facebook message,

“We don’t personally know Russell Salvatore but I think we all are very much looking forward to personally thanking him. Samantha said it perfectly when she said “Russell Salvatore gave me the opportunity to have my life back. I am so incredibly grateful for this man and his wonderful generosity. I am so grateful for the Western New York community for rallying behind me. This is the greatest gift I can ever imagine recieving. My heart is so full. Monday is going to come and I am going to face it knowing just how much support I have in this amazing city I call home.” I’ve been through this myself, I know what she’s lost in this illness but I also know that this surgery is going to give her, her life back. This wouldn’t be possible without his kindness and compassion and that of the people in this community. For that our family is forever greatful. We can’t say thank you enough!”



Mr. Salvatore – you are amazing and we are so lucky to have you in our community. If you can help Samantha – here is a link to her Gofundme.


Russ Salvatore, the man with the heart of gold, is at it again! This guy is AMAZING!

Another local woman has had same surgery. Read her story here:


Local woman bravely faced life-saving brain surgery now insurance carrier will not cover the cost!


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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