In January of 2013, after months of acid reflux and difficulty swallowing, our Dad was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer. At the time of detection it had spread to nearby lymph nodes as well as up to the neck and throat, and down to stomach.
For those of you who don't know Rick, he is the father of 6 kids and one step daughter - Andrea, Alayna, Elizabeth, Chelsea, Evan, Laura and Christopher. He has 4 young grandsons and 1 granddaughter.
He plays a mean guitar, he has an infectious laugh, and has spent countless hours writing, calling or sitting with each of us sharing his wise perspectives, his knowledge and talent in music, his lessons in maturity and growth, and most of all his love.
Dad is a musician by trade - he spent years playing the circuits and recording with local artists such as Doug Mallory, Frank McKay, Ken Tobias, and others - and performed with a number of noted Canadian and US acts, like The Doobie Brothers, Dutch Mason, Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett, Delbert MacClinton, and many more. In 2005, he focused more on writing and arranging new material for performance and recording, earning him a nomination for ECMA Producer of the Year for Jakki Rogue's CD "Take A Look At This". See more on his musical career and bio here: http://guitarproducer.wordpress.com/
"This is not a curable cancer."
On Valentine's Day 2013, we all sat together with Dad in a room, and listened as the Doctor told us, "This is not a curable cancer. Our treatment plan for him will not be to cure him. It will be to improve his quality of life and make him as comfortable as possible."
This diagnosis was both shocking and devastating. Our dad had recently defeated the odds of other health issues and was on his way to regaining strength and weight after receiving a clean bill of health. So, what we thought to be a simple case of eating too quickly and indigestion that stuck around through Christmas, turned out to be a diagnosis that has turned our family's world upside down.
We know our Dad has a hard battle ahead of him, and we are trying to do everything we can to support him and keep him both physically and mentally healthy for as long as possible. Although his treatments and basic living needs are covered, we believe that as much as health plays a part in quality of life, so does family.
Right now, he needs his kids close - and we need to be close to him.
Unfortunately as a self employed musician, Rick has been rendered unable to work and has no life insurance with which to cover the costs associated with a terminal illness such as this. Right now he rents a room in a house with a landlord and another roommate. All of us, his children, live in different areas in and outside the city. Three of us have kids of our own, and four of us are currently putting ourselves through university.
Our family has never had a lot of money, and we don't need much.
What we truly want is time, and hopefully the treatments will help with that
"“ what we do with the time we have, YOU can help with.
For instance, $10 means we could all go have coffee together with Dad. $25 is an hour of bowling for Papa and the grandkids. $50 means you'd fill someone's gas tank for the endless driving back and forth to and from appointments. If 3 people donated $100, we could find a cottage or 2 to house us all for a night, together under the same roof. If we end up with more than that, we could relocate Dad to a place more accommodating for the difficulties to come, where he also won't be living alone trying to deal with them.
Each and any one of these things are memories we only have a short time left to make. Any help you give would forever bring our love and gratitude, as well as a peek into the beautiful, funny, loving musical family that we are.
If you can't help monetarily, please leave us a note and send some love.
We appreciate any support, in any form.
Please share our story with your friends and family, get to know us through the links below, and stay tuned for updates on Dad, as well as video peeks into our family musical jams and fun times!
Lastly, don't forget to smile, and tell the ones closest to you that you love them :)
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