CLINTON — A Clinton company has pulled together to help one of its own as he battles stage IV pancreatic cancer.
Dan Faulkner, 46, a 15-year employee at Collis, undergoes chemotherapy three times a month. His cancer is spreading.
As a result of watching him battle the disease, his Collis co-workers — who describe him as the “fighter guy” and the “awesome guy” who everyone loves – got together to send Faulkner to see his brother in Ocala, Florida, and for a stay in New Orleans.
“The support I have been given has been more than I could expect any group to give,” he said.
The family at Collis had already raised thousands of dollars toward medical expenses for their favorite finishing technical manager, and decided to take it one step further so he could check some more items off his life list.
That meant sending him to see his brother, whom he had found out about when he was 15 and only ever met at his father’s funeral a few years ago. He was able to reconnect with his brother and said he was at peace in Florida.
In the sunshine and near the beach, Faulkner felt like he was where he needed to be.
He admires New Orleans, which had the endurance to “keep going and going” through hardships such as hurricanes. He felt at home. Deb Bianchi, human resource manager at Collis, suggests it is because he has the traits of the fighters he admires.
Faulkner has a family of his own, a son, Matthew and others in the area. He considers himself lucky to go to work each day with people who care about him, and to come home to his best friend’s family; his 20-month-old godson lights up his eyes.
And even though he has the disease, he is afraid it his son who will be burdened with the pain.
“He’s tougher,” Faulkner said. “I’m the one carrying it. He has to see it through until the end.”
He said he will continue to live life to the fullest for as long as he can.
The best way to describe it, he said, is like having every holiday prepped for and celebrated in one day. But Faulkner isn’t one to irrationally spend his days, and going to work is important to him.
“You have to live the best life you can with the time left, while being responsible,” Faulkner said.