If you would like to have your loved one added to our memory page or to honor a survivor, please contact us at 262.305.1370 or send us mail at: Ann’s Hope Foundation
P.O. Box 376
Hartland WI 53029.
How do you sum up a life well-lived? In laughter, in joy, in having fun, in a generous spirit, in work well done, but mostly, in love. Larry lived life out loud. He loved his life, his family, his friends, his colleagues, his patients, his work. He loved a great joke, a corny joke. He loved tennis and sailing, music, hiking, skiing, learning, traveling, basketball, food, watching a beautiful sunset. The list goes on and on.
He loved taking care of his patients and sharing his gift of healing with them. Most of all, Larry loved family.
Larry retired unexpectedly from his work as a gifted hand surgeon the day we found out that malignant melanoma had spread to his brain. Two days later we discovered it had traveled to his right lung. We never found the primary site. Larry found a bump which appeared purplish-black under the surface of the skin under his right rib in March 2008.
We had so hoped for a temporary retirement from a life well-lived. Larry passed away January 19, 2009 after a 10 l/2-month battle with this terrible disease. He was 53 years old. He was a warrior – strong, brave, fighting until the end. He passed away one month to the day past our 27th wedding anniversary. He suffered greatly. We suffered with him. We had hoped to be part of the cellular program at St. Luke’s, but he didn’t make it. The IL2 he endured during the course of his treatment at St. Luke’s was so hard on him, but we had hope. We also had exceptional care.
Larry loved being a family. He loved making me laugh. He was so proud of our children Rebecca, Maggie and Ollie. He loved shooting hoops and talking trash with Ollie in the driveway. He loved sharing movies, musicand art with Rebecca and Maggie. He loved being a part of all the precious moments that make up life.
We all miss Larry so much. We miss his laughter, his jokes, his silliness, his hugs, his wisdom, his presence. We know his love for us continues on, just as our love for him stays strong. Larry lived life fully, but it was too short for all those who knew and loved him. Ann’s Hope is a tremendous organization that offers hope and healing to so many. We are proud and honored to be part of the fight against malignant melanoma.
Bob was a great husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. Bob loved to laugh and had a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed making others laugh. Bob made a lasting impression on anyone who knew him. Bob loved his family very much but his pride and joy were is two children, Kayci Lynn and Jason Robert.
He was an avid Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan. He also was a deer hunter and had enjoyed that with his dad, brothers and grandfather and eventually was able to hunt with his kids.
In 2008 and 2009, Bob attended the CMA Music Festival in Nashville with his family. Bob was a finish carpenter and loved his work. He made sure that it was done just right because he wanted it perfect. Bob made many projects that are in the homes of his family and friends. Bob also worked on the family farm with his parents and brother. Even though Bob had a job off of the farm, he enjoyed helping with farm chores.
In July 2005, Bob went to the doctor for a rash, but they saw a dark mole on his back and told him that it should be removed. The mole was removed the same day and a week later the doctor called to say that it was melanoma. They told us it was caught early but a few weeks later they wanted to remove more tissue to make sure they removed it all. We were so relieved when everything came back clear and no further treatment would be required. After this, Bob continued to go to the doctor to be checked and we thought that he was keeping everything under control.
On May 3, 2009 we went to the emergency room after Bob had a sleepless night. He showed us a lump that he had on his side. The ER doctors did some test but sent us home and said we should have a surgeon look at the lump. Bob was able to get an appointment the next day and we went to see the surgeon and he ordered a CT scan. We went back later in the day to be told they thought the melanoma had returned. The next day the surgeon removed the mass and confirmed the diagnosis, Stage IV Melanoma. The cancer had already spread to his liver, lungs and bones. Bob took three rounds of chemotherapy and the melanoma was still spreading during the treatment. Bob also had some radiation for some painful areas during this time, which helped tremendously with the pain.
In August 2009, he was considering another treatment and the doctors repeated the MRI of his brain and found the melanoma was now in his brain. He started 15 treatments of whole-brain radiation. He finished the treatments and shortly after that started a rapid decline. He was in the hospital for a couple of days after having a seizure and he returned home to hospice care.
On September 26, 2009, some friends and classmates of Bob planned a benefit in his honor. It was a wonderful day and many people were able to visit with Bob. He enjoyed it so much knowing that they were all there to support him. Bob was always concerned about his family during his illness and encouraged them even through his suffering. Bob fought with all he had but lost the battle with melanoma on October 6, 2009, surrounded by his family.
Melanoma is more than “just skin cancer.” It can be deadly if left untreated. He would not want anyone to go through what he did and encouraged people to be checked. In February 2010, Bob’s family and friends organized a Melanoma Awareness Night at his son’s basketball game to bring awareness to the dangers of melanoma. The funds that were raised were given to Ann’s Hope to further their research for a melanoma cure.
Bob will be in the hearts of his wife, children, parents, brothers and other family and friends forever. His faith in God and love for us gives us the courage and strength to go on and to spread the word to find a cure for melanoma. Bob is thought of everyday. There will never be another like him.
Even at an early age, there was nothing that would hold back Jeff’s enthusiasm for life. Jeff’s fun-filled childhood consisted of things like this: playing GI Joe vs. Barbie (if you knew him, you get this), staring in his own magic and fashion shows, and riding his bike through the neighborhood while singing at the top of his lungs.
High school brought working at Sentry, dances, parties and endless fun. After graduating from Sun Prairie High School, Jeff continued to fill his grandpa’s footsteps at Sentry Foods as THE personality in Sun Prairie. Known for his elaborate tie collection and dance moves, this young man became the heart throb of every grocery shopping mom and grandma. There are so many people in Sun Prairie who were impressed by Jeff, his kind ways, and bright smile.
It was in the summer of 1998 that Jeff was made aware of stage 1 melanoma on his back. After surgery and some time to heal, Jeff continued to strut his stuff in Sun Prairie. Though he loved working with people, Jeff knew there was more out there for him.
On a trip to Minneapolis, Jeff found the love of his life, Tim Schneider. He then moved to Minnesota after a short yet powerful courtship. He and Tim eventually moved to Palm Springs, CA, where it didn’t take long for Jeff to become THE personality of the restaurant, Wang’s, which he managed for three years.
In July of 2008, after a series of headaches, Jeff went to the doctor. At this time, he was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma—10 tumors in his brain and lungs. After much discussion with Tim and family, Jeff decided to forego treatment and live the remainder of his life like he always had, to the fullest. The flowers, gifts, and visitors came daily. People flew in from all over the country to visit and celebrate his 38th birthday.
Jeff will always be remembered as the son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend who knew exactly what to do to make each and every person around him feel important and special. He was brutally honest when it came to matters of importance, which led to many people not only liking him but respecting him. For these reasons and many more, we will always treasure and honor the memory of Jeff Pederson.
Written by Kate Boyce
Mike was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and teacher who loved life. His favorite pastimes were hunting and fishing with his sons and spending time with his grandson, Brody. His family always came first. He had an infectious smile and always had something positive to say. Mike will be remembered as being a very kind and gentle soul.
Mike taught 8th-grade science for 31 years and coached wrestling for 25 years. He loved to teach, even when he was not in the classroom. Mike enjoyed teaching friends and family about the stars and moon through his love of astronomy. He would walk around holding his grandson and tell him all about the type of moon in the night sky. He also would name the birds for him and explain everything that they would see. Brody just loved to spend time with Grandpa this way. He also enjoyed working summers and after retirement at the State Laboratory of Hygiene. He had a positive affect on everyone he met. His former principal summed it up best when he said,” Mike will live on through many, many students because he had such a positive impact on their lives and was such a great role model.”
In September of 2004, he was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma. He went through many surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation only to have it return full force in July of 2008. At that time he went through a study at the University, but a cure was not to be. Mike was in tremendous pain, but still tried to keep up with every day life. He never gave up. He worked at the State Lab of Hygiene up until one week before he passed on February 27, 2009. Mike wanted to do everything he could to try to beat this cancer and wanted everything to be done that might help the next person afflicted with melanoma. He would be very honored to be a part of Ann’s Hope Foundation and hopefully one day this disease will have a cure.
“He was one of the best. Best teacher, best mentor, best friend. Just one of the best human beings ever.”
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