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Carnival & Fair News
Carnival & Fair News
Chicago area Concessionaire, Peter Kasin, Recovers from Surgery
Friday, June 8, 2018
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Peter Kasin, one of the carnival industry's best-known concessionaires, is doing well seven weeks after having surgery to remove a softball-sized tumor from his colon.

Kasin books games with Skinners' Amusements in Greater Chicago, along with his twin brother Paul and their respective families. In early April, Peter was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer and had surgery on April 12.

He's taking chemotherapy pills over the next six months to help prevent the cancer from re-occurring. Doctors told him it's curable at this early stage, which was obviously a big relief to Peter, his wife Margaret and their two children, Matt and Jackie.

Anyone who knows Kasin is well aware of his tremendous sense of humor, and it came through several times during a short interview to catch up on his health.

"I just thought I had a beer belly," he said. "Turns out it was a tumor. Last year in April, I stepped off a ladder, tore my meniscus and had to have surgery. I'm taking next April off."

Kasin first noticed the pains a day after he attended the Chicago Blackhawks final regular-season home game on April 6. He went to the game with his close friend, independent ride owner Rick Haney and Father John Vakulskas, a priest who works closely with the carnival industry.

"The next day, I couldn't get out of bed," he said. "I had big pains in my stomach, so I thought I better go to the doctor."

His personal physician referred Kasin to a specialist. A colonoscopy confirmed the cancerous growth. He underwent surgery using new hands-free technology using instruments guided by a computer to remove the tumor. Kasin returned to the hospital a week later to resolve some bowel issues resulting from surgery, which his family mentioned on Facebook.

As he continues his recovery, Kasin is taking it slow as he eases back into his work routine. He's not allowed to lift anything greater than 20 pounds, which places several restrictions in a business that relies heavily on manual labor. Over the first month of the season, fellow concessionaires Billy Wilson, Billy Thornberry and Jared While have been helpful in providing assistance with Kasin's game operation.

Skinners' Amusements was scheduled to play Harvard (Ill.) Milk Days over the first weekend of June. For the 62-year-old Kasin, the 2018 event marks 50 years since he first started working games there as a youngster for his father, the late Clarence "Coach" Kasin. Now he's pointing toward many more years of running the duck pond and shooting gallery, among other Kasin Concessions attractions.

"I like to be above ground," he says, laughing. "It's better than being in the dirt."

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