Cancer touches us all in one form or another. Recently, Cancer has attacked a man I have grown to admire, respect and love. To many he is Fred or Freddy; to one special woman he is hubby; to some he is Dad, Daddy or their own personal Superman; but to me this wonderful man is my future father-in-law, Fred Kretzinger.
You mention the name Kretzinger in the Mason/Holt area and more than likely someone in the crowd will have a funny story to share. Often my fiancÃ© and I will go somewhere and when they see that last name they ask, "Which one do you belong to", to which she always cheerfully answers Fred. In the years we have been together, it still amazes me how many people know Fred because they raced with him, went to school with him, worked with him, dune buggied with him or he worked on their vehicles; and everyone of them always has something wonderful to say about him, which does not surprise me in the least.
Fred was forced into early retirement due to advancing Ankylosing spondylitis; a form of arthritis which usually attacks the spine but can spread to other joints and causes severe pain. Fred's form of AS was an aggressive form and attacked all of his joints. Through injections, and multiple other forms of medication, Fred faced this new challenge in life and was marching forward with faith and support, until the medications he was on allowed cancer to develop rapidly in his pancreas along with leaching to the stomach. Fred again said, okay let's get this taken care of and went into surgery with his faith in God and a determination to beat this nasty disease.
His doctor was able to remove the cancer, but with the removal of the cancer came a loss of 80 percent of his pancreas and 40 percent of his stomach. The removal of these portions of Fred's organs meant it would be necessary to attach the remaining portion of his stomach to his bowel, but the attachment of his stomach to his small bowel has not gone as planned. There has been leaking in the attempts to make this attachment, leading to infections and a more difficult time attempting for attachment. Subsequently, Fred has faced a total of five surgeries over the past two weeks to make this connection. He's continuing to fight and we are confident he will beat this too, it's what he does. God has truly blessed Fred with a strong will and a strong sense of survival. Continuing this battle Fred still faces the possibilities of more surgeries, rehab in the near future and chemo and radiation therapy in the distant future.
I am asking you to help Fred by giving anything you can. Financial worries should not be a part of this battle he is facing, your donations will help lessen the burden and allow Fred to concentrate on rounding the corner to recovery. I pray that you will help this wonderful man.
- Bruce Smith
- Michelle Butler
- Vin Perry-French