• Cancer

    In the Loop: Cancer survivor says to take time for Legos

Sometimes, the little things in life can mean a lot. That's (literally) the case with the tiny Lego action figure Kirk Gunderson keeps on his desk.

The story behind his Lego friend goes back 3 1/2 years, to when Kirk was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer. The rare cancer led him to Mayo Clinic for treatment. After Kirk's first appointment, he and his wife, Jennifer, stopped at their daycare to pick up their 3-year-old son, Garrett. "He told me, 'Daddy, I'm going to take care of you until you're better,'" Kirk recalls. Garrett then asked Kirk if he had to return to work that day.

And while the self-described "very Type A" personality had been planning to do so, "something in me told me to say no," Kirk tells us. Instead, he asked Garrett what he wanted to do. The answer: play Legos. And so they did. "We went home and played Legos, then cars, then went outside. Whatever he wanted to do, we did it," Kirk says. "We did what was important at the time."

The experience that day had a profound effect on Kirk. "Something hit me," Kirk says. "I realized I needed to change my life, change my focus. I got hit over the head with the idea of taking time for Legos."  Read the rest of the story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

Related Articles