Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Steve Collins: Update

Millie McCaddon and Phil Clark passed along new information about the health of Steve Collins, of which I have further updated after discussions with his nursing staff at two locations and Steve.

Class of 1965 MacArthur High School graduate Steve Collins has had some ups and downs in his battle with esophageal cancer. The feeling is that members of the class may wish to know more about what is happening.

Steve Collins lives in Florida. In February 2009, he was diagnoised with cancer. He went through radiation and chemotheraphy treatments. Three weeks ago, according to Mac '65 classmate Phil Clark, Steve had a scan to see if he had any more traces of cancer. The tests discovered three tumors in his brain. He began a decline.

Recently, Steve was at Westminster Bradenton Manor in West Bradenton, Florida. When I tried to track him down there on April 20th, I learned Steve was transferred to Blake Medical Center, Bradenton, in the last few days.

At Blake, Steve reportedly does not sleep well, and is confused, sometimes. Nevertheless, he is able to talk to people, sometimes not. Probably this is to be expected, considering everything. This was according to the nursing staff whom I talked to extensively on April 20th and to those Phil Clark talked to on the 21st. I was told that Steve is really not able to talk to folks, and the next day, Clark was told the opposite. But then on the 21st, I phoned Steve, talked to him for awhile, and asked him about his life. For example, I found out he has been in Florida for 17 years.

Phil Clark also noted: "I just talked to Steve at Blake Medical Center. The nurse said sure you can talk to him, I'll get him. I was surprised he is alert. He said he went through some treatment today and he'll be back at Westminster Bradenton Manor soon. The ph. no. at Blake Medical Center is 941-792-6611."

When I talked to him, I asked Steve's permission to post his number here. Furthermore, he said he'd appreciate cards.

If you wish to send a get well wish to Steve, please use the address below:

Steve Collins, Room 470, Bed A

Blake Medical Center

2020 59th Street West

Bradenton, FL 34209-4604

As Phil Clark passed along earlier, "I know he would appreciate contacts from old classmates."

After also talking to Steve on the 21st, Keith Rogers penned me an email hoping that "a number of people [will] send him some cards of encouragement" for his recovery.

A personal note.

I knew Steve Collins well, as did some of our classmates. Steve was in my homeroom for four years, and in some classes, off and on, down through the years. A happy-go-lucky guy, he lived life fully, and is recalled by many of us as huge as a bear, but kind-hearted. As Mike Braughton said to me today, "a big guy, could be intimidating until you got to know him."

At one point, a few years after graduation, I wrote about a strange encounter that Steve said he had, which once received local attention. His account appears in several of my books, now. Today, the name "Steve Collins" is noted in hominology studies, perhaps unknown to him, regarding Steve's, Bob Earle's, and two others' Stevens Creek sighting in November 1962, off East William Street Road, Decatur. Even John A. Keel noted Steve's encounter in his 1970 book, on page 105. This was five years before Keel had penned his now-famed The Mothman Prophecies, which was the source of the 2002 Richard Gere movie, on which Keel and I worked.

For Steve, after all these years, I wish him more completely restful nights than he has had recently, and an increasing sense of feeling better.

Millie McCaddon wrote: "All we can do now is pray for Steve and his family and pray hard that there will be minimul suffering."

1 comment:

Gary Thompson said...

I remember steve as a prankster sorta.. we were in coed health class Steve was to give a report on VD he started off "well VD is caused by bad women and"..... he continued with coach DeMoulin telling him to sit down..I laughed so hard. The other moment was in auto mechnaics. we had to take a lawn mower engine apart and put it back together.Then take it outside and start it. Well Steve, (I can't remember who is partner was) had parts left in the tray like a lot of us ha. It would not start so they were to stay in the room and figure it out while the rest of us went outside to start our motors. When we came back the whole room was smoked up from the oil burning in there engine. they got it started but could have been used to get rid of mosquito's what a hoot..I hope Steve does well We will also be praying for him.