Saturday, October 17, 2009


So this is a tough subject for me but something that is dominating my life right now.  My father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer about two weeks before I was picked for Top Chef.  He hasn't smoked a cigarette since he was 21.  He didn't know anything was wrong until his back started hurting.  When cancer metastasizes, it spreads to other organs in the body.  In his case it spread to a weak spot on his spine where he had previously had surgery.  It's in his lyph nodes as well.  In the past 16 months I've watched a strong, healthy, happy man with a full head of hair and a big bushy beard transform into someone else.  He still has his wit, humor, musical talent, voice, intelligence, and love.  What he has lost is his hair, beard, ability to walk, appetite, muscles, and freedom.  It's a terrible thing to watch and I wish I could explain how surreal it is to watch this happen to someone so quickly.
Thank god for Robin.  Robin and my father have been married for 21 years and she is a saint.  Her days are spent taking care of my dad and making sure he is eating, sleeping, and getting the best possible care.  I don't want to think about what it would be like for him right now if it wasn't for her.  She isn't the only one helping him though.  A lot of my father's friends have been to the house to help or just visit and share stories and songs.
There are also countless people involved with cancer research and awareness who have been invaluable.  One of the most helpful has been Neighbors Helping Neighbors.  This is a charitable non-profit organization who helps families in crisis.  They have been helping my dad's community since 1998.  When he was first diagnosed with cancer they knew what a financial challenge awaited.  NHN immediately organized a fund raiser to help support the family, pay for medicines and procedures that were not covered by insurance and help with traveling expenses and accommodations to cancer centers in Colorado Springs and Denver.  A year later, they are still there for us, helping in any way they can.  They have volunteers who have brought him meals and sat and cared for Ed so that Robin could get a break.  
My parents have never had much money.  They live simply in a modest house in the mountains.  It has always been enough for them.  But when something like this comes along, it can take everything.  So Neighbors Helping Neighbors and Brent's Place in Denver are among the many organizations making it possible for people like my dad to have a shot at beating this awful disease.
I'm not writing this for sympathy or to ask for anything.  It is simply a way for me to talk about what is happening in my life.  There have been so many people who have reached out to me and my family to offer assistance, a prayer, etc.  Thank you all for your heartfelt well wishes.
I never feel comfortable asking for money either.  But, in this situation, there is an exception.  If anyone out there is wanting to help out, NHN is currently excepting funds which will help pay for  my dad's accommodations at Brent's Place for the next year of chemo and trial drug treatments.  Please mark donation for the Rosenberg fund.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors
PO Box 822
Crestone, Co. 81131
Linda Kucin - President
501C3 Tax Exempt # 84-1471842

These pictures are from March 9th (his 70th birthday) and September 13th, respectively:

1 comment:

  1. Hosea, thanks for sharing this personal story to bring more awareness to this disease and the organizations set up to help. Every little bit - no matter if it's an hour of time, a dish of food, a dollar or simply words such as these - helps so much.