Our dear friend Robert Barenklau passed away today. Visitation will be Friday night at the old Paola Middle School, the Firehouse Gym from 4-8pm. Saturday will be services at the same location, in the afternoon. We will update as we get more information.
The Benefit is still moving forward as planned. The benefit was something that gave Robert some sense of peace knowing that help was on its way for his family.
‘You have cancer’, those 3 words that no one wants to hear were spoken to us the last day of February in 2011. At 39 years of age and with no family history of cancer, it was a shock. We were thrown into a tailspin trying to make decisions and appointments and starting treatments immediately to try to shrink the tumor in his colon. We were determined to beat this monster and get on with being a family and enjoying life. Almost 5 years later, we are now facing the reality that this monster has taken more from us than we thought possible. We had no way to prepare for the expenses and costs associated with fighting for Robert’s life and exhausted our resources some time ago. Our families have done more than we could have ever asked, as have our friends. As the disease has progressed we have made the decision that Robert is no longer able to work and he quit his job in mid-December. (Yes, he has worked through this entire fight.) He is applying for disability, but we do not know if it will come in time.
One of Roberts biggest concerns is how the kids and I will survive if he loses this fight. We have two children, Haley, age 16, and Chase, age 12. The kids attend Paola schools and are a sophomore and 6-grader respectively and both kids have been very helpful to Robert during his fight, his liver is failing and time may be short. We are surrounded by an amazing group of people who have asked to help us. We just want to give Robert some peace of mind about the future. The monetary costs of this fight have been a burden and will continue to be one, but the biggest loss could be the loss of our beloved husband/dad/friend.