Recently I was asked to share the reasons why we donate to the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Bike for Cancer Fund. When my husband Ozzie was diagnosed with rectal cancer in July of 2009, I felt as though we were given a death sentence. I lost my Mom to colon cancer in 1965. I was a sophomore in high school, and she had just celebrated her 42nd birthday before she passed. For most of my life, I have associated cancer with death. Back then, the idea of a cure was pretty remote, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments were not all that accessible. Since then, much has changed.
When Ozzie started treatment prior to his surgery, we went daily for radiation treatments, and weekly for chemotherapy. At Benedictine Hospital’s Oncology Center, we had the pleasure of meeting recipients who were benefiting from the great rewards of the Gruner Fund. It was a wonderful experience to learn that the Fund afforded people with gift cards for food and gas cards to afford transportation to and from treatment. The Oncology Support Program offered counseling, support groups and many other services.
In September of 2009, our sons Paul and Joe formed “Team Ozzie” for the Bike for Cancer. So many of our friends, family and business associates were so generous donating to the cause, and they continue to do so.
It has been a truly rewarding experience to participate in such a great cause. We were very fortunate — we had good insurance, a strong family core, and family and friends who were on our journey along with us. Some days were harder than others, but at the end of each day we were always very grateful to the Lord above.
I encourage anyone who would like to make a difference to join us in September, and participate in the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Bike for Cancer Care Ride. Good food, good company, and at the end of the day a great feeling of accomplishment.
Kathleen M. Beichert – May 2013