When Kent passed away in October of 2008, he was only 62. He left behind his wife, Denise, and three daughters: Erin, Anna and Ashley. He had four sisters, one brother and countless in-laws and friends. Most participate in Cancer Services’ Lapper each year. Many come together physically to walk, others walk with them by contributing financially. They even have family members contribute to the Lapper and walk in North Carolina the same morning they walk in Fort Wayne.
Kent was able to remain at home largely because of the emotional and financial support given to the family from Cancer Services.
“CSNI’s staff was empathetic and made us feel like we were the only client they had,” Denise said. “Peter was Kent’s advocate. When we would stop to pick up tube feeding supplements, Peter would ask how much we needed and then carry them out to our car without delay. The tube feeding pump was a big help when Kent left the hospital. He eventually was able to give himself bolus feedings of which Cancer Services provided the supplies. When you have a family member affected by cancer, you need help from someone who understands.”
The Lapper is one way for all who loved Kent to honor him and to pay it forward to Cancer Services so they can help other families in need.
Kent’s daughter, Erin, summed it up beautifully: “I think about my dad every day — for no reason and for every reason. I don’t think about having good days and bad days anymore. Some days are just different. The day of the Lapper is one of those different days. His birthday, any holiday, and even the anniversary of his death are also different. Different isn’t good or bad, my life just isn’t the same as I knew it before cancer.”
Team Kent participates in the Lapper because it is an annual day that is all about Kent. It gives them the opportunity to come together in support of a good cause and in remembrance and honor of a great man. It is important to them that his life and the loss in his death are never forgotten by those he loved. That Saturday once a year, helps to ensure that it doesn’t.
“Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana did a great deal to help my dad and our family during his illness,” Erin said. “Their positive impact on our family continues every summer when they provide us with our very own special Kent Day. Thank you to everyone who makes this event possible.”