Family has always been an important part of Ken Heller’s life. When Ken was just 15 years old his father purchased a greenhouse and florist business in Shadyside, Ohio. He, his four brothers and one sister, spent countless hours tending to the vast assortment of flower gardens until he made the heroic decision to enlist in the U.S. Navy at 17 years old. Ken dedicated four years serving his country, spending weeks on the Mediterranean Sea and waters surrounding Cuba. But, his most memorable moment was standing attention at the memorial parade of the WWII Unknown Soldier.
For many summers, Ken and Georgia Rose, wife of 59 years, traveled back home to Ohio attending the Witzgall Family Reunion. Spending countless hours with his siblings transports him back to his childhood. Since his diagnosis of Guillan Barre disease in 2014, traveling has become more difficult. As Ken’s disease progresses, he knows attending the reunion this year might be his last.
It just so happens, that Dreamweaver Foundation’s Executive Director’s sister, Donna Stuart, is Ken’s Physical Therapist at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, NE. After hearing Ken’s story, Cheri and Donna decided to team up to grant his dream of returning home possibly for the last time.
For nearly two weeks, Ken received the chance to reminisce about the past and create new memories with his siblings in Ohio. Over 60 family members gathered for the family reunion to celebrate their family history and legacy. The weekend was definitely full of family, food, and fun!
Ken’s daughter wrote to Dreamweaver… ”We all had an amazing time. This may very likely be Dad’s last family reunion as traveling is really hard on him and my mom. Nonetheless, they were so happy for the opportunity to be there with our family and we were delighted to have them with us. Thanks again for helping make this happen!”
Dreamweaver Foundation would like to thank Travel and Transport, Interim HealthCare, Dasco, and Wheelers Van Rental for helping us make Ken’s dream come true.