When I was young and in either middle school or early in high school, a young man moved to my hometown. This guy had charisma and everyone immediately liked the guy from the moment they met him. He soon became a very good and lifelong friend.
After high school, he went on to college and I to the military. On and off over the next 40 years we crossed paths and each time we did, it was like there had been no break in the friendship.
When I retired from the military, I invited everyone I know to come share the day with me. It was the 4th of July weekend and I knew that not many would show up. A lot of my family did show up and a couple friends did too.
Well, while we all were socializing a corvette appeared coming up the lane. I thought someone must be lost because I didn’t know anyone with a corvette. The car parked and out stepped Greg and his wife Susie! They lived up by Minneapolis and had just driven four and a half hours to help me celebrate my retirement.
Greg told me that they couldn’t stay long as they had other obligations up in Minneapolis. While we caught up, Greg spoke about having had cancer on numerous occasions and after this last bout, Suzie had told him he could buy the corvette if he beat cancer again.
Well, his cancer was in remission again and he got his corvette! After purchasing it, while on the way back to their home they had to stop for gas. He told me that as Susie pulled up to the pumps he said “Hey beautiful, I’ll buy you a tank of gas if you spend the night with me.” She agreed and he went on to relate how the other people pumping gas reacted in shock. Greg was always good for a practical joke and this one was definitely worth a good laugh! I can just imagine witnessing something like that!
After an all too short visit, they had to leave and return to Minnesota. Although, we communicated through email and social media, it was the last time I got to visit with Greg. Greg’s cancer had returned with a vengeance and he succumbed to the cancer last year after an eleven and half year battle with it.
Susie tells it best “This cancer journey involved the removal of 1 1/3 kidneys, part of his liver and part of his diaphragm over 3 surgeries. He was part of a clinical trial involving the development of an immunotherapy drug for use against kidney cancer (the form of kidney cancer he had didn’t respond to conventional chemotherapy or radiation) and even ended up in a review written by his oncologist. But, because he only had 2/3 of a kidney left, he was forced into dialysis, which we did at home five times a week. We even managed to do it while on vacation.
For those of you undergoing dialysis, those caring for someone undergoing dialysis, or those just curious about dialysis, one of the immediate side effects that may occur is getting cold during the procedure which can last from 3 hours on up to ???. Blood is removed from your system, filtered and returned. As your blood is removed, it flows through a machine containing dialysate to be cleaned and have the excess water removed. If this dialysate, or the dialysis machine, are not warmed to the appropriate temperature, that cold feeling is exasperated.”
While Greg was still living, he and Susie started buying blankets and donating them to hospitals and dialysis centers. After he passed, Susie decided to continue his legacy by raising money, then buying blankets and donating them.
This is the 2nd year of the fund raising and out of character for me I am going to ask for your help. Please help me help Susie to keep Greg’s legacy going. I ask you to open your purses and wallets and make a donation to the GoFundMe site to help buy more blankets.
Each donation is tax deductible and will make a difference for a long time to come. Something as small as a $20 donation will provide two blankets that can be used for a long time to ease the suffering of not only adults, but there are children who need dialysis too.
Please go and donate what you can, I beg you.