Schultz Park parade shows support for Joe Bugajski

58

Lansing resident is fighting cancer during COVID-19

by Clem Lessner

LANSING, Ill. (May 10, 2020) – Just before noon on Saturday, May 9, Lansing police vehicles led a long line of cars around a block in the Schultz Park neighborhood of Lansing. The decorated vehicles, honking their horns and displaying messages were there to lend moral support to Joe Bugajski, who had recently been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Posters and decorated vehicles showed support for Joe Bugajski as they paraded through his Schultz Park neighborhood. (Photo: Clem Lessner)
Bugajski’s hockey friends use the phrase “Puck Cancer” to encourage him. (Photo: Clem Lessner)

Bugajski had noticed some prior issues with his throat about the time the national COVID-19 problem arose, so it was difficult to get a doctor appointment. Eventually he got tested at an emergency room, and the cancer diagnosis came about three weeks ago. His chemotherapy and radiation treatment begin next week. Bugajski says that, in general, he’s feeling fine at present.

Bugajski had been resting with a sore leg on his couch and was totally surprised when the well-wishers arrived. He said, “I would have worn better clothes if I had known they were coming!”

The dozens of visitors included many friends, neighbors, and family. Bugajski was especially impressed by the appearance of his “hockey family” a large number of current and former hockey coaches, players, and other hockey organization members with whom he’s been associated for more than ten years. They include a number of former Munster High School players and one who plays with the Purdue Northwest Hockey Team.

Bugajski’s “hockey family” presented him with a poster of hockey memories. (Photo: Clem Lessner)
Other friends also expressed encouragement and support. (Photo: Clem Lessner)

Bugajski gives much thanks the Lansing police units that took the time to lead the cavalcade of cars around his block, making sure that everyone was safe. But especially, he says he feels “lifted up” to know that “so many people have my back, that so many care.”

Joe Bugajski says he knows “I’m not alone.”