Those who know Greg Gesch agree on two things – he never lets anything stop him, and he never shows how much his battle with liver and colorectal cancer affects him.
The Wauwatosa resident and director of Alive ‘n’ Kickin’, a mobile ultrasound ministry, is more concerned that the mobile crisis pregnancy clinic is not on the road than he is about his health crisis.
Gesch had high hopes of parking the Class ‘A’ motorhome near abortion clinics in the Milwaukee area after Tim Wegge, CEO of Burlington RV Superstore, renovated it into the ultrasound clinic at no cost to the pro-life organization.
“I was diagnosed in November, with four cancers in three different areas, but there is something missing from my liver, which is one of the three areas,” he said. “The cancer is gone in that area.”
If you wish
Send donations or volunteer:
Surprising his oncologist and the nurses with the disappearance of cancer in his liver, Gesch believes he experienced a miracle, and is hopeful for a similar result with the colorectal cancer.
“I was told that I should be dying or dead, so there are miracles,” he said. “In addition to the chemo, I am also doing a bunch of holistic treatments. I haven’t had any pain or nausea, and I can’t really lose any more hair. Let’s just say that I haven’t made out my will yet.”
Despite his positive outlook, Gesch is wracked with debilitating fatigue that often sends him to bed for 18 hours at a time. Because of that, he isn’t able to devote a lot of time to fundraising for the ministry or in finding volunteer sonographers.
Originally, a sonographer stepped forward to perform the ultrasounds, but after a serious accident, resulting in several surgeries, and a future surgery, the technician is unable to help until her health stabilizes.
“Sonographers are hard to find, and without someone, our ministry will not survive,” said Gesch. “I had one woman call me who was interested in helping and we took the the vehicle out to do a presentation, but she had trouble because the ultrasound machine wasn’t permanently mounted; it was just strapped down. While I was driving, one of the ratchet straps let loose and put a crack in the casing. The machine still works well, but we need to do some cosmetic repair and get it permanently mounted.”
Gesch hopes a couple of sonographers will volunteer their services once a month to once a week to help in his ministry to prevent abortions.
The group’s mission is to persuade women to abandon their scheduled abortions after seeing the visual image of the growing baby within their wombs.
“For women who see their babies in the ultrasound, more than 90 percent of them turn away from having an abortion,” said Gesch, 63, active in the pro-life movement since 1986. “We won’t be doing just ultrasounds; we will assess the woman’s needs and network with various agencies that can deal with helping them from baby things like diapers to finding a good doctor.”
For now, the stark white, technically advanced state-of-the-art counseling office within the RV sits in the parking lot at Burlington RV. Gesch has used all of his personal savings to fund the ministry and hopes other pro-life advocates will consider donating time or resources to get the unit on the road.
“We need to build up our war chest and we need someone to volunteer at least one day a week,” he said. “The need is probably five days a week, but I will take anything I can get to save babies.”