Hi everyone and thanks for stopping by to read this story. I am starting this go fund me campaign for a very dear friend of mine and I hope that you can find it in your heart to help him out. About ten years ago, a man came into my life that changed me in ways that are hard to explain. I was a parrot owner and had met many others that owned birds as well, but I still had questions that just weren't getting answered. Cindy from C&B Birds said you really need to talk to John Lege. They call him "That Guy With The Birds". When I met John, you could see the excitement in his eyes as we talked and I could almost feel the passion that he has for these amazing creatures! John Lege AKA "That Guy With The Birds" is one of the most caring, loving and passionate people that I have ever met. I have witnessed him do things with Parrots (and other animals as well) that you could not believe unless you see it for yourself! He started his Parrot Rescue in 1980 and now cares for over a 100 Parrots of all sizes. John has not only helped me, but he has done countless consultations with people that have problems with their own birds and always takes the time to give advise to help anyone who might have questions.
After serving his country during the Vietnam War in the NAVY, he worked very hard all of his life to care for all of these birds. His regular "Day Job" came to a close after 9/11 because his company headquarters were located in the World Trade Center. The company survived a short time after one of America's worst tragedies but not for long. It was that point in John's life that he decided to take his gift with birds and transform it into his business. He has developed a fun and educational program to teach young and old about birds from all around the world. He does programs for all ages ranging from preschoolers to senior citizens as well as fairs/festivals, birthday parties, pet expos and even has done a few weddings! Now even though he does get paid to do some of these events, what people do not take into consideration is the cost of caring for all of these birds. Food alone is a very large expense! As John says at his shows, "These birds do not eat spaghetti, cookies and pizza!" They need what they would have in their "Natural Environment" which does not come cheap! Not only is food a consideration of expense, but there is liability insurance which he has to carry and there is also Veterinarian visits that are a must to keep them all happy and healthy.
I wanted to share a little bit of John's background hoping that people will understand that he is NOT by any means making millions of dollars doing bird shows and parrot education because to him, it is not about the money. It is about caring, loving and providing a good home for all of these unwanted, abused and neglected birds. So now the real reason for this story, John was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. The morning of June 16th, John noticed blood in his urine and was seen in the emergency room where they ran a multitude of tests, but told him that he needed to see a urologist for a diagnosis. Appointment was made with the Urologist for the 19th of June where he underwent a Cystoscopy where they found the cause of the bleeding, which unfortunately was a tumor in his bladder which needed to be removed and biopsied. On the 26th of June, John had the surgery to remove the tumor and when the Doctor came out to talk to us, he didn't seem as optimistic as he had been prior. He felt that even though he was able to remove "most" of the tumor, it was larger than he thought and was worried that it had infiltrated the wall of the bladder. We had to wait for the pathology report to come back and he wanted John to have a follow up CT scan within a week or so. Well the pathology report came back showing a stage 2, highly aggressive tumor that breached the bladder wall and has just started into the muscle layer. At this point, the only good option is for John to have a procedure done in which they completely remove his bladder and reconstruct a new bladder from a portion of his colon. This is a pretty involved surgery lasting around 6-8 hours and the recovery can be quite lengthy. Of course we are all hoping for the best and that John will within a few months be back doing what he loves, entertaining and educating people about the birds, but in the mean time, I am asking for your help. John is one of those people that would give you the shirt off his back if you asked and would never even think of asking for anything in return. As much as he has done for so many people by bringing happiness to their lives one feather at a time, I am hoping that we can do the same for him by supporting him in his time of need. John is not one to take "hand outs" and does not want to be viewed as a "charity case" which is why I, Ken Sprouse Jr. have started this campaign for him. I am hoping to raise enough money to help with all of his daily expenses as well as monthly bills to get him and his family by while he recovers. Hopefully we can ease the financial side of John's worries, and assure that he and the birds will be taken care of. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this story and I hope that you find it in your heart to help out not only a fantastic mentor, but truly a great friend. God Bless