LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — What would you do if you only had months to live? Dick Schulte is spending his final months fixing up his Lee’s Summit home.
“I take care of the oil in her car and the roof on the house that in six months I may not be around to do,” said Schulte. “I want to make sure she’s all taken care of.”
“She” is Dick’s wife Susie, who has grown used to people commenting on her husband’s kindness.
“I’m touched by it, but I’m not surprised by it,” Susie said. “He takes care of me.”
But maintaining a home can be expensive, particularly for a couple now spending much of their budget on cancer treatments and all the expenses that go along with them.
Dick has breast cancer. He’s one of dozens of men across the country facing a disease many only associate with women. He was diagnosed 22 years ago and thought he was cancer free until five years ago. That’s when he fell and broke his hip.
His doctor told him his cancer had metastasized. Then in February he learned his cancer had progressed so far it’s likely he won’t live past September.
It wasn’t long after that he started taking a hard look at his home and all the projects that he wanted to accomplish. He decided it was time to give Peggy Miller a call.
“Dick texted me 4-5 weeks ago saying he didn’t want tickets to Disneyland,” Miller said. “He didn’t want a trip to the baseball game. He just wanted to take care of his wife cause things were coming.”
Miller understood. She leads the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, an organization founded two years ago by her son Bret. At 30 years old, Bret is the coalition’s youngest breast cancer survivor. At 63, Dick is the oldest.
“I’m not a guy who really takes from people, I like to give to people,” Dick said. “But I’ve come to a point now where I really need to learn to accept things and hopefully what goes around comes around.”
Which is exactly how Dick met Corky Williams of Bob Hamilton Plumbing. All it took was hearing of Dick’s story and Bob Hamilton agreed to replace Dick’s air conditioner unit free of charge.
“What’s important is we need you to be confident and comfortable that this is no longer a problem for your family,” said Williams. “We’ve got it solved.”
Wonderful words to hear when the comfort of your family is now your greatest concern.