By LISA M. HOFFMANN
PEMBINE, Wis. - A truck driver for 35 years, and now a cancer patient, Steven Pierce of Pembine, Wis., was able to see his son, Jonathan Pierce, drive a semi-truck on Tuesday.
Jonathan Pierce stands with his parents, Pam and Steven Pierce of Pembine, Wis. in front of a Fox Valley Technical College semi-truck. Five trucks traveled to Pembine on Tuesday so Steven Pierce could share in his son’s graduation celebration.
Lisa Hoffmann/Daily News Photo
Jonathan Pierce and 10 other classmates graduated from Fox Valley Technical College on Friday.
Steven Pierce, wheelchair-bound, was unable to attend his son's graduation ceremony. Jonathan Pierce asked his instructor if it was possible to take a semi-truck to visit his father in Pembine.
Five semi-trucks driven by the recent graduates of Fox Valley Technical College's truck driving course made the trip north on Highways 41 and 141 on Tuesday.
"We stopped in Abrams at the weigh station and then ate lunch and drove to Pembine," Jonathan Pierce said.
Steven Pierce, who has been given months to live, is proud of his son.
"I really didn't expect all this," he said. "I appreciate all the time they put in here. I couldn't watch him graduate, but all of this."
Steven Pierce has renal cell cancer, a disease in which cancer cells are found in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney.
In a poem written for his father, Jonathan Pierce wrote about the lessons he is still learning:
"You taught everything you could, and you made sure that I understood, I wish somehow you could get well ... I'm trying my hardest to follow in your shoes, and I know at first I will have to pay my dues, but I know you will be with me on every trip, to be there to back me up whenever I might slip. I wish the doctors could somehow find the answer to the disease inside of you that they call cancer."
Steven Pierce's parents, Claude and Marion Pierce, and his wife, Pam Pierce, along with a few family friends also joined the celebration, held in the parking lot of the BP Gas Station on Highway 8 in Pembine.
An account has been set up for the Pierce family at Forward Financial Credit Union in Pembine. Pam Pierce said the account is the Steve Pierce Cancer Fund, c/o Forward Financial, W8044 Cemetery Road, Pembine, WI 54156-0189.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.