Recipient

Mark G.

Illinois

The Fight Worth Fighting

Over two years ago, my father was officially diagnosed with mesothelioma. About a year before that, we knew that something was wrong with him & he had been in and out of the hospital - but the doctors couldn't figure out what the problem was. Not long after my father first started having problems, my little brother & I had a feeling he was sick and felt terrible and guilty putting the thought out into the universe. After his diagnoses, it got bad. There were moments that we thought we were going to lose him & moments that he felt, thought, & talked about giving up. Though, my father knew that he had all of the reason to fight & not to give up. Having this illness made him lose & give up a lot. My father used to be a Cook County Sherif Police before he retired, therefore he was a gun owner. Though he retired, he kept his guns around for the protection of his home & his wife in the event that something happened. He could no longer shoot because he couldn't keep a steady hand. My father used to have a hot rod - working on it was one of his favorite past times. Because of how weak he had gotten, he couldn't reach to keep his balance or work in the heat to do, complete or update the car. So he had to sell it. My father had felt like he was losing who he was and in a sense, most of his manhood. My father grew smaller, loosing muscle mass due to the lack of work & movement that he was able to do because of the medications that he takes.
When he goes to the store, he has to lean on a shopping cart to keep stability. He refuses to try to keep anything from standing in his way from his ability to get anything done, no matter how he feels. He refuses to ask for help. Through the years battling mesothelioma, he's made progress - though there is no cure & eventually it will take his life. No matter what my father has been faced with, he's always pushed through it. He's a fighter. & for that he's one of the bravest people I know.

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