Thomas Ring

06/13/1941 — 03/06/2012

My dad received a kidney transplant July 2011 from my big sister who was almost 100% perfect match. He did everything the doctors told him to do. We saw how healthy he felt for 6 months. I got my dad back, and it felt so good to hear how happy he was in his voice, to hear his jokes again and stories of his childhood that I hadn’t heard before, and to spend time with him like I did when I was a kid, wanting so bad to run and jump on his lap but didn’t want to damage the new kidney.

When I went to visit my parents for Christmas, my dad asked me to look at his ear because he had cut it and it just never wanted to heal. I looked at his left ear and said “Dad, you need to get it looked at because it has a black spot.” My dad got it checked out the beginning of Jan 2012, and the result was an aggressive form of melanoma.

My dad went through all the PET/ CT scans and found it was on his left ear tip and one area of his lymph node in his neck. Surgery was Feb 17, 2012, and it was a horrible day … the cancer had spread. My dad was in the hospital 18 days, and the cancer spread to his lungs, liver, and the doctors said probably his brain.

My dad was the most amazing man and most precious dad in the world. I pray for the cure because I pray the cure would’ve been here for my dad.

I love you, Dad, and I miss you so much. You taught me so much. I’m thankful for the woman I’ve become.

Shelly Thorup, daughter

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