Fayette resident Randy Theis might be the only person in the world who could consider a hard kick from a pony to be a blessing.
It was that kick that led doctors to discover that cancer was spreading through his body.
Randy was kicked last December and a doctor’s recommendation of therapy and pain medication didn’t bring relief. In February he visited a neurologist who finally tracked down the source of his discomfort—something totally unrelated to the kick.
The neurologist located a tissue mass in Randy’s back and he underwent surgery in March. He learned April 1 that he had lung cancer that had metastasized to his right rib, lower back, breast bone and right femur.
Twelve weeks of chemotherapy showed some improvement, but Randy’s treatments were far from over. He was scheduled for 20 radiation sessions, and at the recommendation of his doctor, a rod was inserted into his femur before treatments began to protect the bone from breaking.
Randy is currently on a four-week break from treatments and suffering from severe pain and limited mobility. He was reëvaluated last week, and a new course of treatments will be scheduled.
Randy faced permanent layoff from his job in January and lost his insurance benefits. His wife, Michelle, is paying the higher deductible rates of her insurance company while carrying the financial burden of the family.
A benefit for the Theis family is scheduled at 4 p.m. Nov. 20 at Fayette High School to help offset medical costs.
In addition to food, the event will include live and silent auctions, kid’s games, a pedal tractor pull, a corn hole tournament and other events.
Linda Malchow, who is helping organize the event, says there are some unique items among the auction donations. A sampling of the items collected include private airplane rides, an 8.8 cu. ft. freezer, a quarter beef, cakes by the Bake Shop, a cupola for a barn roof, crocheted tablecloth by Carma Sutton, 20 tons of stone (delivered), a painting of Woody Hayes, a St. Croix fishing rod with artwork by Kevin Renner, and a cast iron lawn bench.
Anyone willing to donate to the benefit should contact Linda Malchow at 419/708-7853; Anita Van Zile at 417/237-3019; or Michelle Theis at 419/572-0497.