By Mayo Clinic employees
Born in Stimmersdorf, Czech Republic, in 1943, Kurt Glover-Ettrich was simply an toddler when his father was compelled by the Nazi Get together to struggle for the German military on the Japanese Entrance throughout World Battle II. Whereas his father reluctantly fought for the Germans, Kurt and his mom have been uprooted from their dwelling and forcibly taken to the biggest and arguably essentially the most notorious of all Nazi demise camps: Auschwitz.
After a 12 months inside Auschwitz, Kurt and his mom have been within the technique of being moved to a second focus camp — Dauchau — in southwestern Germany when alternative struck after the practice transporting them and different prisoners went off the tracks and crashed. They not solely survived the crash however used it as an opportunity to flee their captors. As Kurt tells the Mayo Clinic News Network“We saved going and saved going till we couldn’t hear any extra canines barking, screaming, taking pictures.”
Kurt and his mom would spend the subsequent 4 months on the run doing no matter was essential to keep away from being re-captured by the Nazis. Kurt’s father was taken prisoner by the Soviet military. When the battle ended, Kurt and his mom hoped they’d lastly be reunited with him. “Trains would come from Russia and convey dwelling POWs,” Kurt says.
And so, from 1945 to 1949, Kurt and his mom religiously went to fulfill the “practice bringing troopers dwelling” twice a 12 months hoping to seek out his father. Through the Jewish vacation of Hanukkah in 1949, they received their want. “We heard a faint voice, ‘Ester, bist du das? (Ester is that you simply?)’” Kurt tells Mayo Clinic Information Community. “We circled, it was my father.”
Collectively once more, Kurt’s dad and mom would later resolve to immigrate to america. Years later, after he turned 18, Kurt grew to become an American citizen. “Tears got here down my cheek,” he says. “I used to be so blissful.”
Kurt selected to precise the gratitude he felt for his new dwelling and new life by enlisting to serve within the U.S. Military. “I needed to offer again,” he says. “It was the one means I may thank this nice nation known as america of America and the American individuals for having allowed me to return right here.”
After a 30-year navy profession that concerned direct fight and going through hostile enemies as a Inexperienced Beret within the U.S. Military Particular Forces, Kurt discovered himself going through a unique type of enemy: prostate cancer. His prognosis led him to Mayo Clinic, the place for the previous 22 years, he’s obtained care led by superior prostate most cancers specialist Eugene Kwon, M.D. “He’s spent as a lot time with me as doable, explaining issues,” Kurt says of Dr. Kwon. “And I do know with him, I’m at all times in the perfect of arms.”
The identical will be stated for the laboratory drugs employees who’ve been integral members of Kurt’s care workforce at Mayo Clinic. “I respect that Dr. Kwon has scheduled me for normal lab testing by my remedy,” Kurt says. “It gives Dr. Kwon with continued up-to-date info in order that he could make the suitable choices so far as remedy is worried.”
Aggressive, individualized care
Dr. Kwon says Kurt’s remedy plan has mirrored that of different prostate most cancers sufferers at Mayo Clinic. “Now we have a really aggressive plan for a way we observe sufferers like Kurt,” Dr. Kwon says. “We use lab testing to trace prostate-specific antigen, which is PSA, a blood marker, for prostate most cancers each three months. As well as, we may even often verify to see how different organs within the physique are functioning, reminiscent of bone metabolism, or markers within the liver, as a result of these are areas that prostate most cancers can unfold to. And by monitoring these websites, you possibly can generally work out whether or not the most cancers is beginning to turn out to be energetic at websites outdoors of the prostate.”
Although prostate most cancers is commonly slow-growing, Dr. Kwon says common lab testing is crucial to staying on prime of any adjustments in a affected person’s well being and illness state.
“I feel one of many issues we do very nicely right here at Mayo is that we’re very aggressive, if not obsessive, about preserving observe of those markers for our sufferers by testing,” he says. “Our basic plan with all prostate most cancers sufferers, together with Kurt, is to verify these markers each three months. I feel simply having somebody watching and monitoring the state of affairs provides sufferers nice consolation that they’re not going to fall by the cracks.”
Consolation is precisely what Kurt says he’s felt all through his time as a Mayo Clinic affected person. “They stroll me by all the pieces and ensure I perceive precisely what’s being performed and what I must do to maintain dwelling my life.”
For Kurt, persevering with to reside his life not solely means staying alive but in addition shifting to Rochester, Minnesota, in order that he can spend 4 hours a day volunteering for Mayo Clinic. “This was the proper alternative,” Kurt says of becoming a Mayo Clinic volunteer. “I knew there have been sufferers coming by right here, navy individuals coming by right here that I can relate to. Not solely speak to those individuals, however uplift their spirits, and instill in them that there’s hope, that they’re in the precise place.”
Watch this video to listen to Kurt share his story: