Russ Raymoure, 67, is a retired engineer; Mark Nieuwsma, 67, is a minister. Both men are accustomed to living busy lives and making the most out of their days. But lately, they’ve had to change their plans.
Raymoure was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer this past December. He has also fought battles with testicular, skin and colon cancer before his latest diagnosis.
“I’m gonna’ beat this one,” he said with confidence.
Nieuwsma was on a family vacation to Mackinac Island last month when he experienced chest pains followed by white skin and shooting pain in his arm. “The kind of heart attack you don’t survive,” he said.
Nieuwsma and his wife were part of the regulars in the neighborhood who would clean up Raymoure’s lawn and help with other tasks he could no longer perform himself. Since Nieuwsma’s heart attack, both men have had to help each other.
“It just sent me back on my heels (and I) immediately said a prayer,” Raymoure said. “When it hits close to home, (it’s) kind of devastating.”
Luckily, the two men moved into a neighborhood that has been extremely supportive and concerned with their well-being. A basket filled with more than 100 cards with well wishes and prayers for the family sits in Nieuwsma’s home. Raymoure has been awakened by scratching sounds coming from his neighbors shoveling his snowy driveway.
Their subdivision coincidentally houses a few nurses and paramedics. They are eager to help the two men when they need it, no matter how simple or severe the ailment.
Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.