Ron was diagnosed with stage II esophageal cancer in 2011. He completed 5 ½ weeks of chemotherapy and radiation and then had surgery to have his esophagus and part of his stomach removed. He was constantly defying odds with how well he responded to the treatment and surgery, one of his doctors even called him his poster child. After the surgery he was cancer free for about 2 years.The cancer had another idea and reared its ugly head again in January but was gone after more chemo. Dad's PET scan last month showed that the cancer is back again so he is once again fighting the great fight. The truly amazing thing about my dad throughout this all is that he is able to maintain such a positive attitude and actually tries to be the rock for our family.
My family is extremely close and Dad's illness has only intensified that bond. One thing that my family has always done together is spending our Saturday nights listening to Garrison Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion. His bucket list wish would be to see Garrison Keillor live with his family (a total of 7 people).
Ron's daughter Lola writes...We had the most amazing time! After the show Mom and dad got to take a picture with Garrison. The restaurant was amazing! We all had the BEST time and are so incredibly grateful to everyone who made it possible! Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts!
...And a big Thank you from all of us at My Bucket List too. You all continue to amaze us with your generosity and ingenuity in making things happen for our recipients!
Martha is 71 years old, lives in White Bear Lake and is terminal with lung cancer. She is an avid baseball fan and, of course, loves the Twins.
My Bucket List and our wonderful Bucket Brigade made it possible to Martha to attend a Twins game. A big THANK YOU to everyone who made this happen! A great moment of fun for Martha. Thanks to everyone for your amazing generosity!
Martha, also, had a very memorable weekend on a boat in Lake Superior, and was able to take her under the Duluth lift bridge and have the bridge master do a captain's salute for her. The big lake was just not cooperating with a leisurely boat cruise up the shore, with 12-15mph winds and 6-8' waves. So they spent the day cruising up the river and having a BBQ on the boat.
Prior to Martha's arrival, Denise had asked some of her contacts in Duluth to add to the experience. They came through with meals at Grandmas and a carriage ride. A BIG HUG and thank you to Denise and Byron and friends from all of us at My Bucket List for providing a great weekend away for Martha!!
Martha did enjoy herself, making the comment several times " this couldn't be any better" and at one point when the sun came out on Saturday she stretched out her legs, leaned back in her chair (at the back of the boat) sighed and said "this is heaven".
Meet Tina. She is 33 and has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She has no other treatment options available and entered hospice in May. My Bucket List received a request from St. Cloud Hospital Hospice to see if we could help provide Tina with a re conditioned lap top. She is homebound, is not married and her family is in Florida. Her main communication with the outside world is through her computer...and she was struggling with an ancient computer that really needed help. A Big Thank you to Patricia and friend who donated an ipad with a keyboard for Tina. What may seem like such a small thing to some, makes a world of difference to another. Thank you again to our amazing Bucket Brigade for your kindness and generosity.
Katie has been fighting her battle with a brain stem tumor since age 7. Katie is one of 12 children in her family! My Bucket List and our AMAZING Bucket Brigade recently made it possible for Katie and her family to spend the weekend at the Radisson Waterpark of America and at the Nickelodean theme park at MOA and get away from her terminal illness for awhile and just have fun as a family. Katie was thrilled, and a little "scared" to ride the Ferris wheel. A HUGE thank you to Voigt's Bus Service for donating the 22 passenger bus and the driver to get Katie's BIG family there and back. A BIG thank you to everyone who donated money to cover expenses of food, hotel and tickets and last but not least, another HUGE thank you to Lutgen Companies for designing, supplying the materials and building the code approved doorways and ADA approved ramp for Katie. This gift you have given her allows her to spend time outside in the yard with her siblings....THANK YOU to TEAM KATIE! You made a difference!
Keith is one of our My Bucket List recipients from last fall. Keith suffers from Stage 4 kidney cancer with metastatic bone cancer. We had hoped to fulfill Keith's wish to take the little boy he co-parents up in an airplane ride last fall but the weather did not cooperate at that time. So, we put his wish on hold until spring and now we are finally able to grant his wish. A HUGE ENORMOUS THANK YOU followed by a great BIG HUG to John Krueger for your tireless and continuous effort since last fall to make this particular wish come true. John's work organizing the plane and pilot and the million little things it takes to make a flight like this happen at the airport are so very much appreciated!!!
My Bucket List was able to fulfill Keith's request to take his son Antonio up in a plane. A HUGE thank you to John Krueger for working tirelessly on Keith's request since last fall. Pilots Mark Pringlemeier and Bob Barrett and Plane owner Tim Brion for your amazing contributions. And big HUGS to the St. Cloud Chapter of Experimental Aircraft Association for your generous involvement in making Keith's wish come true. It was a perfect way to celebrate Keith's 60th birthday!!! We continue to be amazed at the generosity and compassion of our Bucket Brigade! We simply could not do what we do without them.
Just thought we would share some of the photos that were taken recently of Keith and his family. Family photos was an item on Keith's Bucket List. We are so happy we could do this for him. Bucket Brigade volunteer and photographer Debra Anderson took for Keith. Thank you so much Debra for spending your Saturday doing this for Keith and his family!
My Bucket List founder, Rudy Ruether, enjoying some laughs with Bucket List recipient, Bob Sandberg and his wife Martha. Bob was recognized last night for his life accomplishments by U of M football coach Jerry Kill. Coach Kill spoke highly of Bob's football career at the University of Minnesota and his service to our country during WWII. Why did coach Kill grant this once in a lifetime request? " You can read Bob's resume", said Kill, referring to a St. Cloud Times article published Sunday, May 4th. Congratulations Bob!
St. Cloud Times Article on Bob Sandberg
Can't say enough Thanks to TEAM DAVID and the Minnesota Twins Organization for everything you did to make David's Bucket List wish come true. David got to meet Kent Hrbek and Tim Launder, tour the facility and the club house, watch a great game and take home a baseball autographed by Kent. I think you can tell by the smile on Dave's face that he had a great day!
Steve and Family
In February our Bucket Brigade volunteers made it possible for Steve (stage 4 colon cancer) and his family to spend a weekend in the Twin Cities at a water park and Nickelodeon Universe. We wanted to provide some time away from the worries of cancer and let the family create some memories and have some fun. Steve's wife, Karen, sent us these pictures and wrote, " We had an amazing weekend. Thank you so much for making this possible for us. We cannot put into words how much this meant to us. It brought many laughs and created great memories." A big THANK YOU to all who helped bring Steve and his family a little happiness!
Article from Kimball Tri County news December 18, 2013
Aired on KARE 11 on November 6, 2013
Aired on Kare 11 on January, 12, 2014