Rockys/Rodneys/ cancer fund

Rocky West is not your usual 65 year old.The numerous challenges he has faced in his life.and the spirit with which he has handled them makes him a truly remarkable person. Rocky,(adopted as Rodney Opala) was struck with severe Poliomyelitis when he was 14 months old.The polio was an accident.He had no lumbar puncture and was put in active polio ward..18 days later he caught it.He spent most of the next year in an iron lung paralyzed from the neck down.He was not expected to survive this ordeal.His parents were told he would never walk again.After getting out of the iron lung he had to relearn everything from eating to sitting up.Wearing a full body brace, he survived an early life full of challenges,from multiple operations. radical treatments for his Polio,and his fair share of bullying. He grew into a bright ,talented and determined young man who never wanted to be treated differently from any able bodied person...
He worked various traditional physical jobs to help pay for his schooling.Despite his disability, he worked as a musician , oil burner mechanic and dynamite driller . After his courses in print and broadcast journalism, music became an integral part of his life.His love for singing and gifted musical ability lifted his spirit and that of any who have heard him sing and play his 12 string guitar. He has always dealt with life's trouble with uncompromising spirit and energy.On top of his illnesses Rocky has had to deal with multiple accidents and other illnesses that doctors and others repeatedly warned him he might not recover from. He had his smaller leg broken and plated as well as massive whiplash damage from a bus hitting him at 70 mph. This accident destroyed most of his upper body strength and put him in constant chronic pain in his upper body as well asthe damage to his legs and hips.He spent many years as a road musician ,not an easy lot,even for a physically healthy person. He travelled extensively through our land, capturing hearts and making friends. Playing music has become very difficult for him lately but he won't let it stop him. This latest challenge (prostate cancer) has shaken him but he still continues to inspire those around him . Because of his Post Polio,an earlier heart problem and extensive scar tissue,surgery is not a viable option to remove his prostate.He has long considered radiation too debilitating as it will probably activate the Hepatitus C he has managed to control for over 20 years and take what little energy he has to use for his pain.He now has some hope with the new HIFU procedure that has a high success rate and considerably less bad side effects.Unfortunately OHIP does not cover the procedure that costs 22,000 dollars. Any and all help you could provide would be appreciated..

Yours sincerely..Gail Horwitz


Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • 150 $ 
    • 29 mos
  • Cal Cochrane 
    • 100 $ 
    • 30 mos
  • Ian Chadwick 
    • 25 $ 
    • 30 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 500 $ 
    • 31 mos
  • MARILYN/GARY EAGLESON 
    • 100 $ 
    • 31 mos
See all

Organizer

Rocky West 
Organizer
Kent , ON
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