Ken's Letter

Dear Mark and All The River listeners,

This is Mary, a social worker at the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial Health. I would like to introduce you to Ken, a 52-year-old married Savannah native who was diagnosed with colon cancer. As some of you may know, a recent study led by the American Cancer Society research team found that new cases of colon are occurring at an increasing rate among young and middle-aged adults in the US. Unfortunately, Ken became one of those statistics in 2014. He was initially treated upon diagnosis but then suffered a recurrence of this disease in 2017. He accepted additional treatments with multiple side effects and hospitalizations during the course of those treatments during both 2017 and 2018. Ken and his family have experienced a very difficult year with further progression of his disease and the tragic loss of close family members. 

Ken currently lives with his wife and their five-year-old granddaughter who is in their custody after losing her mother. Ken has been unable to work since his recurrence which has placed a great financial burden on the family. He would like to have help towards paying some of the monthly bills like rent and utilities but is not sure if that is too much to ask for. Ken describes his wife as a hard working woman who, besides having a job, provides great care for both he and his granddaughter. When Ken was asked about his greatest challenge in his fight with cancer he stated the hardest part is trying to cope emotionally with a debilitating and life limiting disease while trying to have some semblance of a normal life. He said with tears in his eyes that he feels he has been fighting for his life for a long time. He says he enjoys simple pleasures at this point such as walking the dog or a trip to the local park or playground with his granddaughter. He is generally not hard to please and only wants his wife and child to have happy times through the holidays. He went on to say that his granddaughter is a typical five year old enjoys “girly things” such as nail polish and stuffed animals. He would like her to receive some educational toys as well since she is always eager to learn new things. She enjoys silly cartoons on Saturday mornings. Her favorite color is red. He says she has been taught to be polite and would be grateful for anything she receives. Ken’s wife enjoys going to the movies when she has time for a little “escape”. She also likes decorating their home to make it warm, inviting and comfortable. She really needs a coat for the upcoming cold weather and would enjoy an outing to shop. 

As for Ken himself, he has his eye on a nice pair of tennis shoes to replace the worn ones he has been trying to make last. He also needs some new pants because he has lost so much weight. Since his appetite seems to be returning due to a new medication regimen, he is hankering for a meal at Dockside Restaurant on River Street, a place he has always wanted to go but never had the chance. This might be a good venue for a date with his wife!

Ken is very excited about being able to participate in the Christmas Wish program! He very much wants this Christmas to be one for making memories.

I would like to thank you for your generosity towards Ken and his family. I want you to share my hope for Ken and his family is that they experience the peace they deserve during this special time of year. 

Thank you,
Mary Hebing
Social Worker
Memorial Health
Curtis & Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute

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This year 98.7 The River has partnered with Jim 'N Nicks BBQ to make Christmas Wish possible. 

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