I was born in Mankato Minnesota on December 30th 1965. I lived a few miles from town next to a county park which was a perfect setting for me and my three older brothers. That's where my love for the outdoors began. Walking the trails and inner tubing down the creek next to our home in the summer was some of the best memories for me. Later as I grew up and moved away from home, the county bought our property and moved our house to another location. It was somewhat sad for me because I wanted to take my kids to see the home I grew up in.
On another note I wanted to say that along with all the good memories from my younger years, there were also the bad. In mid 1992 my oldest brother Steve discovered he had an aggressive form of Cancer. After me and my other brothers were tested, it came down that I was a perfect match to be a bone marrow Donner. I always looked up to Steve and thought what better way to help him by giving him the gift of life. The surgery went well and a few months later just before Christmas, he was sent home to be with his wife and to young daughters. Then just days after Christmas, my parents came to my apartment to give me a birthday present and informed me that Steve was back in the hospital. The Cancer had spread to his brain and there was nothing more the doctors could do. Steve wanted to have his youngest baptised before he died so we all gathered in his home for the proceedings. It was also a day for us to say our goodbyes to him. I felt as though I failed him but being my brother and even in his current state also knew the right thing to say to me. He told me I did all I could and that if it had not been for me that he never would have had a first Christmas with Courtney who was only a few months old then. His words are something I will never forget and it makes me happy that I could give him those last few months with his children. He died the first week in January 1993.
Years later, my brother Rick who had always known that he had problems with his kidneys, was in need of a kidney transplant. Of course I volunteered to be tested and found once again to be the perfect match. We went through with it and in July of 2001, he received one of my kidneys. Things changed for him and now to this day his health is great and he is living a normal life. I'm glad I could be there for him as I was with my brother Steve. Remember that friends may come and go, but family is always there. Do what you can and life will give you its rewards in time.
I am just starting out doing this blogging thing and over time I will be doing updating and showing photos of my work. Thank you for stopping in and I hope you will come by this way again. Mike