You know those Facebook memes that say, “Julie will stay up browsing Facebook when she should be sleeping. Julie is gonna complain about being tired tomorrow. Don't be like Julie.” Or “Shirley is loyal to the people that are loyal to her. Shirley values loyalty. Be like Shirley.”
It’s ironic because the app that generates those memes is called “Be like Bob.” Ironic, because although my brother-in-law Bob is a bona fide technofile, he has no time for Facebook. But many of us could stand to be more like Bob, for sure.
Bob Schulze is my brother-in-law and I’ve known him since the late 90s. I was immediately struck by two things about Bob. He is a knock-out country western dancer and he is an incredibly kind man. He would do anything for anybody.
Bob and my sister, Robin, taught country western dance for a period of time, moonlighting from their day jobs managing every aspect of the business for a local homebuilder.
With most of the kids from their prior marriages approaching adulthood, they settled into the busy-ness of mid-life never slowing down even as “mid-“ turned into “later-“.
And when I say busy-ness, I mean busy!
Bob has worked for himself for the last 15 years. He’s become an independent contractor working for people who need projects completed around their homes. Bob has worked around the country – from Tennessee, where they lived for almost nine years, to California and several points in between, but mainly in Colorado where they spent the majority of their lives.
An elderly neighbor tells the story of calling Bob late one night because their smoke detector was going off and he was unable to climb a ladder. Without a second thought, Bob put on his slippers and went out in the night to handle the situation. That’s the kind of man Bob is. Just ask anyone who knows him.
Bob is the father of four children who have, between them, provided him with nine grandchildren. Robin’s son and his wife are awaiting their first child, her first grandbaby, this fall.
Life was busy, but life was good. Until life came screeching to a halt on Tuesday, May Day, 2018. Bob had been feeling a generalized weakness and suddenly began falling. After a particularly puzzling tumble, he decided to make an appointment with his doctor, knowing that it was nothing more than a case of vertigo or a vitamin deficiency.
Twenty four hours later, he was admitted to a local hospital to the oncology floor. The MRI had revealed two tumors on his brain. The corresponding swelling of his brain explained his lack of balance and other strange symptoms.
After a second MRI, it was discovered that he had a mass on his lung and small lesions on his liver. Physicians moved to begin treatment immediately initiating a course of radiation. More options will be discussed at a future time, but the battle is being drawn and engaged.
That’s where you come in, dear reader. The treatments will be costly, well above what they are able to pay. Not covered at all will be new therapies and treatments that show great potential! That said, the expenses that Bob and Robin will incur will be more than just medical. Bob was primary breadwinner for their family, and so they are looking at a significant reduction in income.
This new reality is a devastating event in their lives on many levels. Levels that we, their community, can’t help with despite the profound desire to do so. Where we can help is giving financially. All funds raised will go to medical and living expenses as Bob turns from being a builder into a fighter…in for the fight of his life.
Bob helps people. Bob never gives up. Be like Bob.