Guest Spotlight: Dick Klancher
Recent Family House guest Dick Klancher has led a storied life in the past 73 years. A former television newscaster, health care equipment manager, and communications/marketing developer, Dick eventually settled in Sanford, North Carolina to enjoy retirement life and be closer to his daughter and her family.
Ten years ago, Dick was diagnosed with skin cancer, then prostate cancer. Five years later, he got the all clear, but then during a routine check-up and consequent tests this past spring, he was diagnosed with non-small cell carcinoma, a common type of lung cancer. Because the tumor was wrapped around an artery, the surgeon was not able to remove the entire growth. Dick subsequently went through seven weeks of radiation, chemotherapy and then immunotherapy to fight the cancerous growth.
During his treatments at UNC Hospitals, Dick and Mary, his wife of 37 years, were grateful to be able to stay at Family House, especially since we’re full 98% of the time. “We had no idea that a place like this existed,” Dick shares. He goes on to tell us, “you feel like a guest at a nice bed and breakfast. You’re made to feel special here. Plus, this helps patients like me feel better about themselves.”
Mary couldn’t agree more. As Dick’s primary caretaker during his grueling treatments, she tells us that she felt “pampered” during their nearly two month stay. “I’ve met some wonderful caregivers and patients. Everyone is so upbeat and pleasant. I feel so relaxed and at peace here. Family House is like a real home to me.”
When asked how Dick’s cancer has affected them, Mary shares that they’ve gotten closer and that Dick shares his feelings more with her. Dick adds that having cancer has made them “better individuals” and forced them to work as a team. “I couldn’t imagine my life without her.”
We wish Mary and Dick well and hope that the next time we see them, Dick will be given another all clear by his doctors at UNC Hospitals.