[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”left” alt=”toby lopes” title=”toby lopes”]http://yolohospice.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/tony-lopez2-e13830561999651.jpg[/image_frame]
Toby Lopes proudly rides his shiny new Electra Townie bicycle to the Nugget early most mornings. What’s remarkable about this is not that it took Toby 79 years to get his very first brand new bike, but that he was alive to buy one at all.
Just months earlier, Toby had come home to die.
He was in excruciating pain from the radiation treatment aimed at a cancerous tumor in his back; chemotherapy was to follow. Toby’s daughter, Sue, a registered nurse, and his wife, Ella Mae, consulted doctors. After considering their options, “We decided to let nature take its course,” Ella Mae recalls “and let hospice take over.”
[pullquote2 align=”center” cite=”Toby Lopes “]Everyone hears about hospice, they think about dying, but that’s not so. You get the right medicines and care, and put your mind to it, you can do real well.[/pullquote2]
“Everyone hears about hospice, they think about dying,” Toby says, “but that’s not so. You get the right medicines and care, and put your mind to it, you can do real well.”
Toby began his days by peddling his bike to meet his buddies for coffee. The Coffee Buddies don’t solve all the world’s problems—though they might try—but they do keep tabs on where and when the fish are biting.
Oh yes, Toby is back to fishing. In fact, he has hauled in a couple 20-pound salmon from the Sacramento River this year. His 52-pound record from last year still reigns supreme among the Coffee Buddies.
Until Toby’s illness prevented it, he and Ella Mae would head to their cabin in the woods near Redding every chance they’d get. Now, feeling his oats, Toby declares, “I’ll betchya I’ll spend more time up there.”
Toby passed away in 2007.
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