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To The Editor:
Many folks from The Valley know the Heise family who lived in Waitsfield and Waterbury from the 1970s through the 1990s. Bill Heise (Heise Sculpture) recently died of cancer and the family has a new set of challenges. Coby Heise, son of Don and Bev and brother of Chad, has been diagnosed with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma as well as esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. These are stage four cancers. He’s being treated with an experimental cancer drug, due largely to the fact that his many medical issues contraindicate treatment via any other means.
Coby has always been a survivor. When he was in high school, he played varsity soccer, baseball and hockey for all four years. Not only was he successful in being able to compete in the grueling sport of ice hockey with diabetes, Tourette's syndrome and morphea/scleroderma, he was also able to set school and state records for scoring in the process. Coby was also a great student, winning many area scholarships. His high school years were so productive, in fact, that he was recently notified that he is being inducted into the Harwood High School Hall of Fame.
Coby was good enough to play Division 1 college baseball for UVM, and he played a year of professional baseball in one of the major independent pro leagues after college. Coby saw his health conditions as challenges rather than as problems. Several years after college, Coby tried his hand at amateur boxing and found more success, competing at the Golden Gloves and several other large events in New England. He did this to prove that someone with diabetes could compete successfully in yet another grueling sport.
Coby is a single dad. He has his boys for weekdays and every other weekend. Between raising the boys, undergoing chemotherapy, severe exhaustion and attending frequent medical appointments, it is a struggle for Coby to work even 15 hours per week. The financial implications of reduced work and a growing pile of bills are taking their toll on Coby. He wants to try to keep his house and if worse comes to worse, have something left over for the boys other than debt.
Coby has handled his difficult life with amazing strength and character. Up until now, he’s been able to stand up to the challenges that life has brought his way. Please consider helping Coby by donating online at everribbon.com or sending something directly to Coby Heise, P.O. Box 42, Calais, VT 05648.