Is Charlie Really Dying?

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Straight Shooter
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Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by Straight Shooter »

Could anyone clarify if Council candidate Charlie Hodge is actually really dying from Emphysema or is this a elaborate plan to garner public sympathy to help him gain a seat on City of Kelowna council?
LANDM
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by LANDM »

We are all dying. He gave a public statement as to why his may be a bit accelerated but it would be silly to imply that it was done for any reasons other than what he stated. Give the guy some slack. He is going through obvious difficult times.
And by giving him slack, I don't mean vote for him if you weren't going to. I mean don't accuse him of what you implied. That's nasty.
And yes, someone could clarify.....his doctor. But it's none of your business other than what the person chooses to tell anyone.
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watchkat
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by watchkat »

From the Capital News


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Opinion
Hodge: Coming to grips with impending mortality

by Charlie Hodge - Kelowna Capital News
posted Jan 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Today’s column is probably the toughest I’ve written during my 35 years penning HodgePodge.

However, it’s one that’s been on my brain for a couple years and is perhaps overdue. Regardless…I’m dying, a slow and not exactly fun death.

Considering that ‘we are all dying,’ I suppose I’m not unique, but my alarm clock on life has been set so time is not something I have a lot to waste.

Despite my attempt at a brave face, quick smile, and shrug of shoulders indicating ‘everything is OK,’ everything is not. In fact, I’m scared as hell, terrified in fact, despite my faith.

Emphysema has four stages with number four being worst. Six months ago or longer, I was told I’m at late three or early four.

Some four years ago, 10 days before Teresa and I were married, I was diagnosed. Coming home and telling her was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

The news was devastating because I watched my mother die a long, lousy death from the same thing. I’m not sure I am as brave as her. No real clear reason is known—certainly cigarettes for 15 years and occasional joints for even longer did not help. However, according to specialists nowadays smoking is not considered the only mitigating factors contributing to the nasty, fatal disease.

Specialists now believe genetics and several other factors, including air quality, pesticides and diet.

A drowning experience when I was five or six also fascinates my specialists.

But regardless how I got the damn disease, here I am.

Over the past few years, there’s been a significant decline, especially the last six months.

I’m at 20 per cent lung capacity or less, oxygen may not be far away and, short of a lung transplant or miracle, there is no cure.

I visited the amazing lung transplant clinic in Vancouver, but have decided to not go on the lung transplant list yet.

When my quality of life is in full decline, I may seek out that option although by then I may be so far down the list it does not matter. That being said, Tez and I have weighed out the many factors involved with going on the list and agree that the time for a transplant listing is not now. My local lung specialist concurs.

I’m an enigma to my specialists because my medical test numbers suggest I should be worse off than I am.

They believe a key component is likely my positive attitude, which despite today’s admission of fear and frustration is generally pretty good.

Am I angry? Not really, except at the federal government’s ridiculous laws and protectionism for those in the pharmaceutical industry that do not allow me to get the only product I have found that truly relieves the breathing—dried cocoa leaves for tea.

Despite all the above, I still maintain I’m one of the luckiest people I know. I have a great partner and some of the best friends a man could ever be honoured to know.

Without their love and support (especially Teresa, Curtis Tulman, Jim Krahn, Graeme James and Les Thompson) and inspiration from folks like Sean Connor, Dr. Barry Urness, Al Paterson and my mom, it would be a lonely journey.

I’ve already chased a number of my dreams and enjoyed them—two published books including a Canadian best seller, won the Okanagan songwriter contest, nominated twice for the Interior Music Association Humanitarian of the Year, finalist for Kelowna’s Man of the Year, served on Kelowna and Parksville city councils, honourary lifetime membership with the Bridge Youth and Family Services and Canadian EarthCare Society, several awards as a journalist complete with many years of meeting some fascinating people and wonderful experiences, and years of fun and work in both the Canadian music industry and environmental field.

I guess the list could go on, but the point is, I have lived a grand life and feel truly blessed.

Despite the reality I have cheated death a number of times, I am not happy with what I face—nor do I intend to go down without a fight. After all, a miracle cure may be just around the corner.

As difficult as all of this has been for moi, it has been a living hell for my wife, and hard on some family members and close friends.

I do not pen this out of self-pity of for sympathy, but because I feel readers should know, to clarify rumours, as an explanation why I was constantly coughing at city council meetings, and to make some people think more about two things.

First, life is precious indeed—none of us get out of here alive so enjoy every day.

And second, think before you speak. A number of times the past few years people have heard me coughing and said things like, “You should quit smoking” (I did 20 years ago) or, “Geez man, you sound like your dying,” which, of course, I am.

I want to thank the wise and kind folks at Kelowna Respiratory Unit and Dr. McCauley. It is great comfort to have your help.

In closing, when you run in to me next, please do not make a big fuss, and more importantly do not avoid me out of awkwardness.

We are all on a short journey in the big picture. It is how we make that journey that counts—not so much the time. Bless you.
Straight Shooter
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by Straight Shooter »

LANDM wrote:We are all dying. He gave a public statement as to why his may be a bit accelerated but it would be silly to imply that it was done for any reasons other than what he stated. Give the guy some slack. He is going through obvious difficult times.
And by giving him slack, I don't mean vote for him if you weren't going to. I mean don't accuse him of what you implied. That's nasty.
And yes, someone could clarify.....his doctor. But it's none of your business other than what the person chooses to tell anyone.


"Give the guy some slack". It's my intention to vote for Charlie because I think he's one of the few people running who won't take any crap and will say things as they are. He has the experience and may not have the monetary backing to run his campaign like other people running, he does speak for the "ordinary person", which we desperate need on city council.
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kingsandman
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by kingsandman »

While I don't wish his situation on anyone and do sympathize with him, running for public office is not the right thing to do.
How many missed Council Meetings would play into this? What if the unthinkable happens, then we're faced with a bye election.
I'm sure some will disagree but we went through this with Sindi Hawkins and don't need it again. Focus on your health and enjoying life Charlie and leave public office behind.
Model citizen......zero discipline.
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60-YEARS-in-Ktown
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by 60-YEARS-in-Ktown »

I am pretty sure that he considered those aspects carefully. He decided to run again because he felt it was needed. I will vote for him again
Besides what is up with healthy councillors missing meetings? That happens too.
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MAPearce
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by MAPearce »

I think this is just a stupid question and playing "dirty pool" at election time...
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Relentless
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by Relentless »

Charlie is a great guy, and his choice to put in an effort to possibly make Kelowna a better place is terrific. He has my vote. Whether he is dying or not, he wants to pre-occupy his life with something he wants to do, and has some good experience with City council.
Many people would pull the plug on working, but he appears to be a fighter,and determined to be productive until he can't be.
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60-YEARS-in-Ktown
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by 60-YEARS-in-Ktown »

My first thought was.. Hope it gets removed.
The question seems to be answered, maybe the OP can zap the thread...
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Mtn Biker
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by Mtn Biker »

MAPearce wrote:I think this is just a stupid question and playing "dirty pool" at election time...


That is certainly one way to take it. Knowing Charlie and what he has done in Kelowna over the years both on council and in the community; is a CV loaded with all kinds of measures of how he served. What ever his motives to run again they can stay with him, as long is he puts his hat in the ring. X marks the spot.
John500
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by John500 »

I vote for Charlie. He takes care of himself very well. I know if his situation is worse he would not be running. I am sure he has figured that all out. If you want a candidate not in the pockets of developers, like Basran, vote for Charlie.
He is a good and very fair man on council and will say his piece.
George+
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by George+ »

I have no problem voting for Charlie Hodge.
He appeals to a wide range of people.
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Lady tehMa
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by Lady tehMa »

I would think the added stress of being a councilor would be adverse to his health . . . all that arguing and wrangling and pressure from all sides.
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Panzer130
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by Panzer130 »

I know Charlie personally and think he is an incredible man. One of the hardest emotions I have to deal with when I am with him is giving him encouragement to pursue his passion for councilor, while hoping he does not get elected.

Charlie is not a good man for the position of councilor. He is very biased in his opinions and can not see past his agendas.
I could not possibly think of a better man to call a friend though.
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Gone_Fishin
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Re: Is Charlie Really Dying?

Post by Gone_Fishin »

Jack Layton martyrdom? I think he should look after his health and leave the job to someone who is better able to devote the time and energy it demands.
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