Positive outlook carries Gewecke family through adversity on and off the farm
With the smile on his face, you wouldn't know there was a point things looked pretty rough for Greg Gewecke.
“You're sitting in the seat with a guy who survived multiple myeloma bone marrow transplant for 26 years,” he said from the cab of his John Deere combine. “I wasn't supposed to live through that but I'm still out here doing what I like to do.”
Greg says a brother was a match, for a risky bone marrow transplant.
“They told me I had a 10 percent change to live through it and asked what I thought. I said well, it's pretty easy. It's zero without it. I'll do it!”
His son Jeremy was in seventh grade, and remembers his dad was never one to complain.
“He would just get out of the hospital, treatment and doctors say don't go out to the farm and do anything and he was setting a cultivator the next week, so he's remained very positive,” Jeremy said.
The years that followed brought more tragedy.
“We had a hired man killed along the way, my brother was killed along the way,” Jeremy said.
Greg said, “During a high speed chase, my son was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
They've had their share of hard times, but Jeremy said it strengthens them, “and that's what it takes.”
They reflect on the current challenges in agriculture that require many to have jobs off the farm, like Jeremy's work as a crop insurance agent.
“It's really unfortunate that farming is a full-time job, that guys have to go off or rely on their wives to support farming, which is a full-time job,” the younger Gewecke said.
Still, they're doing what they love.
“Oh yeah, best there is,” Greg said of agriculture.
And passing that on to another generation.
“Nothing better in the world than to have your little ones running around here,” Jeremy said, hoisting his four-year-old son up.
Even at the worst moments of his cancer, Greg says a doctor looked at him with concern, and he told the doctor not to worry, he'd be back.