A Very Special Collector

| November/December 1991

  • Old gas engines

  • Old gas engines

Strong Memorial Hospital 601 Elmwood Avenue Rochester, New York 14642

My son, Dan, is 15 years old. He started getting interested in old gas engines and tractors about two years ago at the Erie County Fair. He has been a member of 4H for about five years now. While taking care of his entries (e.g. sheep, rabbits, vegetables-they went to the state fair), he'd wander over to the steam and gas engine displays. Dan would watch for hours. He met an old timer, Ed Winters, who really gave him the history and mechanics of these wonderful old engines. He'd come home and talk and talk about his new interest. He wanted an old engine.

This past April, the date was April 9th, I'll never forget. My son was diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia (AML), four hours after school. Our hearts stopped and our lives changed. He has been in and out of the hospital since that nightmare of a day. The Ronald McDonald House in Rochester is our home away from home.

Dan has time in between chemotherapy when his counts go up (maybe two weeks at best), and he can be so-called normal. Dad found him his dream, an old Jaeger cement mixer engine. He restored it and got it working; it's a hit and miss. He also added a pump. He was in heaven!

He is now at Strong Memorial Hospital waiting for a bone marrow transplant. He will remain here anywhere from 6, 8 or 10 weeks. Now the only engines he can be near are in this magazine. He is in complete isolation.

He is a very determined young man and he feels he can beat his cancer. His spirits are up and he has a wonderful outlook on life. He is a very special guy! We're hoping for a remission and Dan's hoping to get well and get back to his engines.