He was the best Dad, Pops, Grampie, Papa, Husband, Brother, Son, and Friend. Sadly, he is gone too soon.
Dad was a very simple man with very few requests. He enjoyed living with my Mom in their small Western Kansas community; he was a farm boy at heart. He worked really hard to make a life for himself and his family. He was able to retire in 2007 and enjoy life a little bit. He loved fishing, going to farm auctions, having coffee with his friends at McDonalds, stocking up on tools for his future woodshop, and spending time with his family.
In 1997, they discovered a mole on the back of his arm. He had surgery in Kansas City to remove the mole plus a couple lymph nodes. We all walked away relieved that the melanoma had been taken care of and he could go on to live a normal life. After that, he had annual cancer checkups here in Kansas City. His annual checkups continued to be smooth sailing for several years. In May 2010 he was feeling sick and they couldn’t figure out what was going on. The Doctor in their home town diagnosed him with a brain tumor. He was rushed to the Kansas City emergency room to see the surgeon. He had surgery to remove the tumors and then started receiving whole brain radiation. He made it through all of that and moved on to rehab. We thought he would finish his rehab and get to go back home with Mom to Western Kansas. We never truly understood how much trauma his body had gone through with the brain surgery, radiation, and chemo pills. He fought a hard battle and his body just couldn’t handle all of that. We lost Dad almost 3 months after they diagnosed his brain tumor.
We love you and miss you greatly Dad … but we know you are free of pain and getting to do all those things you love the most
There needs to be more awareness in regard to Melanoma. We did not realize that Dad’s melanoma could come back with such fierceness and spread through his body so quickly. Hopefully this walk will make some people stand up and take notice … possibly save a life !