Terminal patient plans his farewell
Celebrations of life are normally funerals, but Roger Ryder, 57, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018, hopes to be around for his.
While he has persevered through the expected time frame doctors gave him, it looks as if he is entering the final stages of the terminal disease.
According to his wife, Joyce, he uses a walker, hasn’t been able to keep food down, and hasn’t had chemotherapy in three months because of how unhealthy he is.
“All the symptoms he’s having seem to fall into the end stage of pancreatic cancer,” she said. “I don’t want it to be, but it looks like it’s heading that way. I think he knows, but me and the kids — all of us really don’t want it to happen.”
Roger, Joyce, and daughters Heidi and Jessica Ryder acknowledge the support they have received from the Hillsboro community since they moved from New York 15 years ago, especially after Roger was first diagnosed. To give back, they will be hosts for a celebration of life on June 26.
“He wanted to have an event,” Joyce said. “Back in 2018, when he was first diagnosed, we had a couple of fundraisers. But now he’s just getting weaker and sicker, so he felt like he’d like to let everyone know “thank you” for being around for the family. He just wants to make sure everyone knows he’s thankful for being nice to us.”
The celebration will be at the Scout House in Memorial Park. Pancakes and sausage from Dale’s Supermarket will be served. Donations will help with the family’s financial needs.
“It’s unusual to have a celebration of life while you’re still here, but he wants to make sure he thanks everyone,” Joyce said. “I hope he doesn’t go, because it’s been an emotional wreck for me — and for the kids in their own way — but he thinks he’s gonna go, so he wants to make sure everyone is thanked for being a friend.”