Hunters aid cancer victim

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2004

AHOSKIE – When it comes to cancer, there’s not a lot a person can do to make that pain – both the physical and emotional variety – disappear.

That sad fact of this disease didn’t stop members of the St. Johns Hunting Club from trying to make things a bit better for a local family.

Following a tradition that began three years ago, club members chose a family, one a bit down on their luck, to help during the holidays. This year’s choice is the David Calderado family of the Center Grove community. Mrs. Holly Calderado is a cancer patient. She isn’t expected to survive.

&uot;When we heard their story, we knew we had to help,&uot; said Walter White, president of the St. Johns Hunting Club. &uot;Our hearts go out to this family. We just wish there was something more we could do.&uot;

For now, a $700 donation will hopefully bring a smile to the faces of the Calderado family, one that includes three children (ages 13-and-under).

&uot;This is just all so hard to describe,&uot; said David Calderado, the husband/father who accepted the check on behalf of his family.

He continued, &uot;The support we have received from so many people, including the members of this hunting club, is very touching. So many people have come to our assistance.&uot;

&uot;This is our way of putting something back into our community,&uot; noted White. &uot;We do this every year.&uot;

This year’s family selection brought about a somber mood among club members, almost to the point of bringing a tear to the eyes of these strong, healthy men.

Mrs. Calderado, a registered nurse, has been battling cancer since earlier in the year. She has been on narcotics for pain since July.

&uot;Even through all the pain, I’ve never heard her complain,&uot; said David. &uot;I tell you one thing about my wife, she’s a fighter. She won’t quit because she knows she has three children at home who need their mother.&uot;

But Holly isn’t the only fighter in the family. Throughout the ordeal – one that includes five straight months in the hospital – Mr. Calderado stays at his wife’s side until the wee hours of the morning. He leaves for home, gets the kids ready for their day at school and then returns to the hospital. His mother helps out at night with the children.

&uot;I was still trying to get in some work during that time, but it finally got to the point where I took a leave of absence about a month ago to spend more time with Holly,&uot; he said.

Mr. Calderado is self-employed as a woodworker/carpenter.

Last year, members of the St. Johns Hunt Club opened up their hearts and their wallets to come to the aid of the Phillip and Brenda Caulk family of Gates County. Mr. Caulk had suffered an injury, leaving him out of work.

In 2002, hunt club members came to the aid of Murfreesboro Police Officer Scott Jager and his family.

Jager was also a cancer victim. He died in early 2003.