Benefit planned for Emmons native with cancer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 2, 2002

When Milford Wuerflein was diagnosed with lung cancer in July 2001, he was told he had about a year to live, so he should go home and change his lifestyle.

His sister, Dawn Kaderabek, a nurse at Mayo, had other ideas.

&uot;She pulled some strings and got me a doctor’s appointment,&uot; Wuerflein said.

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While Mayo doctors’ conclusions were the same &045; that Wuerflein had lung cancer &045; they did surgery on his right lung and removed a wedge with a lump in it.

&uot;I stayed clean until June,&uot; Wuerflein said. But then in June he suffered from blockage of the bile ducts and small intestine.

Wuerflein had actually started noticing symptoms of his illness in February 2001. He had trouble with his shoulder, and doctors had to put a rod in his arm to stabilize it. He then received radiation treatments.

&uot;But at that point, they didn’t know it was lung cancer,&uot; Wuerflein said, adding doctors knew he had a lump in his lung, but didn’t believe it was cancerous because the work he does as a mechanical insulator and the area in which he lives in Topeka, Kan., is conducive to benign lumps.

To open up the small intestine, radiation treatments were given. He then began a three-week cycle of chemotherapy in Rochester.

While Wuerflein was able to go back to work part-time last summer, he hasn’t been able to work full time. Consequently, it’s caused a financial hardship for his family, which includes wife Janet, daughter Shannon and grandson Noah. Janet worked until mid-summer, when she needed to devote more time to care for her husband.

&uot;My boss has been very generous helping me out,&uot; Wuerflein added.

Family members are planning a benefit for Wuerflein. There will be a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Emmons Legion. Freewill donations will be received.

While Wuerflein has lived in Kansas for the last 25 years, he grew up in Emmons. His father, Jerome, lives in Albert Lea, and his mother, Audrey Gents, lives in Stewartville. He also has two brothers, Clifford of Albert Lea, Jerome of Emmons and another sister, Tammy of Stewartville. There are many other relatives in the area, including his grandmother, Vione Wuerflein and aunt, Maureen Ruble, both of Albert Lea.

Donations may also be sent to the Milford Wuerflein Benefit Fund at Americana National Bank, 217 S. Newton Ave., Albert Lea.