What can we say about Dale Fahrenholz? He was the oldest of six kids, a father and a beloved grandpa who was devoted to his family, friends and treasures. He always greeted you with a smile and a handshake. After Dale’s first cancer diagnosis in late 2018, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James) was instrumental in getting him to remission and on his way to continue doing the things he enjoyed. He gained strength quickly and attended his grandson’s wedding a few weeks after his stem cell transplant.
His flowerbeds and yard were his joy and his attention to detail in yard art and plant placement was truly enviable. Auctions, outings with friends and family and time with his grandkids held a new appreciation. When his oncologist started to notice a difference in his lab work, changes were made to medication and more tests were needed. A trip was planned after the holidays and he wanted so badly to escape the cold Ohio weather. The decision was made to go on the trip and upon returning, more tests would be done. Unfortunately, the trip was cut short with a hospital stay and an Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) diagnosis.
Upon returning home, plans were made to go to The OSUCCC - James to start the aggressive treatment. He was too weak at that point and chose to decline the medical attention that could have extended his time with us even for just a little while. On February 23, 2022, one month after the diagnosis, we lost him. We look back on all the events and question what could have been done differently. Should we have pushed him to pursue the tests before he left? When he first felt sick, should we have taken him straight to The James for treatment? So many “what ifs” run through our heads. The one thing we are sure about though, The James gave us 3 extra years with him that we wouldn’t trade for anything. AML is a terrible diagnosis and research to find a cure is our prayer for the future. Help us support this potentially lifesaving research with your donation to OSUCCC - James.
When Dale passed so suddenly at the age of 71, it left the whole family shocked and heartbroken. Kathy was now the oldest sibling and in the next year would be turning 70. She learned of an organization, the Ohio Senior Olympics which sponsors competitions in multiple sports for persons age 50 and older. She decided to start swimming for exercise and relive the swimming days at the West Alexandria Pool and lifeguarding at Hueston Woods State Park.
In July of 2022, she competed in the Ohio swim meet in Columbus and as she was leaving, stopped to check the results. She had finished second in the 50-yard and fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke in her age group. Very surprisingly, this qualified her to swim in the National Senior Olympics in Pittsburg, PA in July of 2023. She will be competing in Pittsburgh on July 14 and 15 in the 50-yard and 100-yard breaststroke.
It has now been over 1 year since we lost Dale. The family is still heartbroken and misses him every day. Since no 5k or other fundraisers for AML have been found locally, the family would like to dedicate Kathy’s swim to raise awareness and funds for AML.
You can honor Dale’s memory in any of these ways:
- Swim 50 or 100 yards this summer
- Find a pool, pond or lake and enjoy a swim
- Pray for those who are diagnosed with AML
- Support Kathy with thoughts and prayers for a successful swim race in Pittsburgh
- Make a gift here to support AML research