There is such a thing as light at the end of the tunnel.

My father was sick my entire childhood but this is story is not going to lead into my greatest never quit story. This story is my fathers greatest never quit. My father was was born the third child of your cliche babyboom era family in 1950. You could say growing up in your typical low class family in the midwest in the 60’s is more then enough to earn the spot of a persons greatest never quit story. Unfortunately his story takes us to 1994 a year before I was born and only 11 years after he had lost his father to the same deadly disease he was about to find out was now processing a home in his body. Lung cancer is one of the most deadly types of cancer there is and he now had to start the long process of overcoming it. He was given 6 months to live and his doctor had given him the advice of finding a comfortable barstool and an endless bottle, but my father was determined that this was not how he would go. With that being said the first thought was operation and so he went from person with two lungs to a person with one lung and was now a physically disabled person for the rest of his life. The story wasn’t getting darker at this point though and after he had achieved remission my mother and himself had to decided it was time to bring me into this world. Coincidentally the day my mother found out she was was pregnant with me was the day my father found out that the cancer had returned for a second time in the so called “healthy” lung that remained. At this point it was time to go after the disease for a second time with even more on the line this time. The Chemo and Radiation treatments were started right away and the battle was won yet again and he had achieved remission yet again. I was born in September of 95 in the middle of the second cancer and so from the time of my birth all I had ever known was him being sick. Tragedy struck yet again in 1996 when he was diagnosed with a third lung cancer in the one lung he had left yet again. Only this time it would end in surgery again and was left with 1/3 of a lung when only 2 years prior he had two healthy lungs. He was told he would have maybe 1 to 4 years left and that he would not be able to exercise and that he would have to now live with supplemental oxygen for the rest of his life. much to the surprise of his doctors and his family he lived 13 years longer then he had been told in 1994 and after years of not giving up and fighting day by day to stay alive for not only a 11 year old boy he had in his life but also his loving wife who had been with him through this entire process he passed away in February of 2007. I see this story as my fathers greatest never quit story because he fought through not one not two but three different lung cancers to stay here for his family 13 years longer then expected. He had trained himself to breathe without supplemental oxygen and he was able to walk short distances and was not confined to a wheelchair in order to get from place to place. He always said through all the darkness came the greatest thing in his life when I was born, his doctors and nurses called me his miracle baby. This man was my hero and the greatest warrior I had ever known. He was the most loving and caring father I think anyone could have ever had. I only knew him for the first eleven years of my life but those years were so important. They have sculpted me into the man I am today and I truly believe that he is always with me. I know his story is very sad to most people that hear it and most people say I was robbed of a childhood because of his health. In all honesty I wouldn’t have had it any other way, yes I may nit have been able to have the cliche lets go play catch out in the front yard father son relationship but what I did have was a very very very loving father and a person who really understood how valuable life really is. I saw his never quit story happen and even though he isn’t here to tell it himself, I know he never quit all the way to the end. Listening to your podcast I have heard many inspiring stories and I have wanted to tell you his and so I figured it was time. Thank you for everything all three of you have done and please please please never let this podcast fade away because it truly is a diamond in the ruff. God bless you guys and have a great rest of the summer!

Author: Gilvie