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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Prostate Cancer: Richard

Cancer Care
“I had no symptoms. If I wouldn’t have had the PSA level test at my annual physical, they would’ve never caught it.”

Laughter is the best medicine

After enjoying an abundant life filled with all of his favorite things from fishing and golf, to shooting pool every week, Richard Kierzek, age 81 from Sauk Rapids, had to readjust. Rich went from leading a busy lifestyle to having PSA levels as high as 78 and dealing with prostate cancer. Over time the cancer spread to his bones and spine causing an extreme amount of pain, no longer allowing him to walk on his own.

Fortunately, with radiation and chemotherapy treatment to shrink the tumors alongside physical therapy, Rich’s pain levels have nearly subsided and his PSA levels have decreased down into the 20’s. Even though much of the physical pain is gone, the mental pain from adjusting to a whole new lifestyle of dependence, confinement and lack of mobility has been the most challenging for Rich.

This past Christmas when his spirits were low, his daughter handed him one last wrapped package. Inside was a playful little kitten that the family named “Kemo.” With the help of his supportive family, faith and his new four-legged friend, Rich was able to climb out of his depression and laugh again. Kemo has been the best distraction and therapy, transforming Rich’s mood and helping alleviate pain.

“It’s true what they say…laughter IS the best medicine,” said Rich.

From the warm and welcoming greeter, to the schedulers and doctors, Rich’s experience with Coborn Cancer Center fell nothing short of great. “Every morning I arrived, Matthew was out with the wheel chair ready to load me up. The schedulers and my doctors were all so nice, helpful and friendly,” he said. Rich is looking forward to visiting the new Coborn Healing Center and checking out the services they have to offer for managing symptoms and staying comfortable. His one piece of advice he shared, “Make sure you get your PSA levels checked. I had no symptoms. If I wouldn’t have had the PSA level test at my annual physical, they would’ve never caught it.”