For most of us the words “health” or “good health” are something that we get to keep in a closet or on a shelf, something to discuss after retirement, hopefully well into our 70s or 80s. For Greg Nowicki, what started as simple stomach ache at the age of 49, turned quickly from a misdiagnosis of being uncomfortable from an ulcer to the real problem… pancreatic cancer, stage 4…the kind that gets our fullest attention immediately. It’s an assault on the senses to be told you may have weeks to months to pack your bags, say your goodbyes, put a bow on a life. For whatever reason, it’s also the kind of information that can inspire the best of the human spirit, the great will to fight for life, the strengthening of already strong relationship bonds, the rekindling of friendships or family relationships, and immeasurable generosity.
For those of us that know Greg, he is a stout figure physically, so much so that he is sometimes referred to as “The Mule”. If it needs to be moved, carried, removed from the way, Greg’s your guy. This disease is debilitating on so many levels and robs a person of their abilities, their superpowers. Greg is a dedicated son, brother, husband, father of two boys, and friend. He is also a long time dedicated employee of the printing business. It is unfortunate that the fight for one’s life through chemo comes at such a cost on every level. It basically removes the ability to work and the ability to perform numerous tasks that we take for granted on a daily basis. The days become filled with appointments, copays, shots, pills, bills, bed, bed, bed, spending time with the people that are important to you, and maybe whatever checkmarks that can be etched into a personal bucket list that you can’t read the expiration date on.
During times like this, most of us hope to be able to rely on family and probably especially our spouse, the whole for better or worse, in sickness and in health thing. As an insult to bad timing, Greg’s wife, Kris Nowicki has also had to confront health issues during this already tumultuous time, when Greg is not capable to care for himself. Due to infection, Kris had to have a major abdominal surgery, which left her in the hospital for almost two weeks and unable to work. Their story, their situation appears have become unwinnable considering the health of each, the inability to work, the piling of debt from doctor bills and life in general, the mental toll, and God forbid, trying to enjoy what time may or may not be left.
Our families have attempted to provide what we can but cannot make Greg and Kris closer to whole mentally, physically, or financially without assistance. We are hoping their story will inspire generosity in those reading it to provide financially or in whatever they can to help pay off some their debt and possibly provide a few things that Greg and Kris could enjoy together as the bucket list still needs some checked boxes. Thank you for reading their story and thank you to anyone who has already shown their generosity.