ASHLAND, Ore. — A southern Oregon man with terminal cancer is choosing to volunteer at the Ashland Emergency Food Bank in the remaining time he has left in his life.
44 year-old James Bezjak is fighting salivery duct carcinoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. Doctors diagnosed him last November. Since then, he’s been receiving several months of chemotherapy but the treatment is not working. In about a year, Bezjak believes he will end up at a hospice. Bezjak is stopping by the food bank to volunteer between doctor visits and resting at home.
“Lately, I used to be 4 days a week open to close and now, usually I’ll come in at 9 leave around 11 or 12 because I burn out or tire out easily,” explained Bezjak.
“If you didn’t know the condition that he was battling, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. Because he comes and just works. He’s a worker and that’s what he takes pride in doing. He’ll do whatever is needed, whatever you ask him to do, he’ll do it till he can’t,” said food bank president, Greg Lemhouse.
Bezjak’s parents died when he was younger and he is an only child. He says the only support system are the other volunteers and staff members at the food bank.