Features/Entertainment / Kansas journal

Kansas Journal: Kurtis and Dana Montgomery

(Courtesy photo) Dana and Kurtis Montgomery are shown before their lives were interrupted by Kurtis’ cancer.

(Courtesy photo) Dana and Kurtis Montgomery are shown before their lives were interrupted by Kurtis’ cancer.

There is so much more to Kurtis Montgomery than the miserable cancer he is struggling with at the moment. Around his home are beautiful pieces of woodwork he has crafted for his family, from the large entertainment center to a handsome bar.  Houseplants he nurtures sit on a unique planter he created. The Montgomery home is where people can feel comfortable.

But now when friends stop by to visit, Kurtis prefers to go to another room in their house. He doesn’t want to be seen; with his lip and jaw still swollen from the invasive surgery he had on April 3, to remove his tongue and part of his voice box.

When his wife Dana mentioned this halfway through our interview on Sunday, I realized how important getting the message out about the HPV virus was for Kurtis.  So important he was willing to be seen by a reporter.

Repeatedly, during our conversation, he wrote the same words on the white board he uses to communicate, “ HPV vaccination.” Even without his voice, he was being heard.

“If we can save one person from going through this experience,” Dana said, as Kurtis shook his head empahtically, they would be happy.

When I learned that the surgery was performed on his 50th birthday I commiserated saying – “some birthday.” But he immediately spread out both arms wide as if to say – “hey, I’m here.”

And when Dana said they were celebrating their 29th anniversary on Sunday, she quickly let me know they were celebrating life. This couple has a handle on what is most important at the moment. Sitting closely, telling their story, I witnessed a perfect example of marriage. They are there for each other in the good times and bad, through sickness and in health…

Read their story in the April 23 Kansas Journal at hutchnews.com

Check out the rest of Kathy’s work here.


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