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A Message from Father John
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The following letter from Father John was sent via e-mail from The Showmen's League of America.

My Dear Friends,

What a year this is!  One year ago no one knew what Covid-19 was or that the year 2020 our industry would be at a stand still. The last fair I attended this year was the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida. I had a terrific time with the many showfolks who were playing there. Ron and Laura Porter, Junior Scheler, Richie George, now I will get in trouble if I miss someone. Promptly after this was the beginning of something no one could ever dream of: Cancellation of fairs big and small from State Fairs to little neighborhood celebrations with no definitive end in sight.

My heart goes out to you as you deal with not only the financial struggles but also the mental and emotional part of worry and anxiety.  Please let the Lord carry you and your family through this.  I have been talking with many folks and I am heartened by the hopeful attitude of so many in our business.  Just to be in our business one must be hopeful, self sufficient and self starting.  Remember the words of Jesus:  "Do not fear.  I am with you always."

Many have asked what is happening to me, healthwise.

In February of this year while I was being examined with an MRI for one condition, the doctors discovered I have advanced stage metastasized pancreatic cancer.  Immediately, my Chemo began at Saint Joseph Hospital, Riverview, Florida.  The doctor stated that since my cancer is advanced and since I have a relatively strong body, a very aggressive Chemo regimen was indicated.  As a result, I have three consecutive days of Chemo every other week.

 In March I returned to Iowa.  At the invitation of my sister, Jan Masteller, she has invited me to live in her home to care for me.  The Chemo continues indefinitely at the June Nylen Cancer Treatment Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

My present address etc will be at the bottom of this letter.

I hope to beat this thing.  I am so heartened by so many calls and emails and cards showing love and prayers and support.   There are good days and there are not so good days.  Chemo days are horrible but I am not going to give up by any means.

Recently there was a fly in the ointment.  I spent six days in MercyOne Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa.  Somehow I was losing blood, (four pints were replaced, not related to the cancer) and the surgeon corrected a rare condition where one of the arteries in my upper stomach sprung a big leak!  What will be the next thing to happen to this 76 year old body?

I sure miss not seeing you all doing carnival ministry but above all, my heart and prayers are with you as we all try to work through this and above all to be spared of the dreaded Corona virus disease.

I appreciate all your notes, calls, flowers etc.  I ask you to pray along with me for a healing.

With prayers and love for you and your family,


Rev. John Vakulskas
johnvakulskas@gmail.com
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