Friday, February 12, 2010

Papa in his favorite hat and shirt, on my birthday 2009

SUD, ALEXANDER "SASHA" MICHAEL, loving and beloved husband, father, and friend, died on May 21, 2010 after bravely enduring his battle with multiple cancers.

He was a selfless father and husband always making his family his number one priority. Even in his last days of life, during his last moments of consciousness, his main concerns were his daughters and wife.

He was born on March 24, 1938 to the late Esther and Michael (Misha) Sud in Odessa, on the Black Sea in Russia. In 1943, a five-year-old Alex and his mother went into hiding during the German occupation in Odessa. He described sitting in a secret compartment in a closet, with his mother covering his mouth to keep him quiet. He could see and hear "the soldiers' boots." His mother was arrested and put in jail with other Jews, as well as serious criminals. She entrusted her beloved son to her sister who "let go of his hand" on purpose in a crowded market, for fear of her own family's safety. For the next year and half Alex lived on the streets of Odessa. He was taken care of by older homeless boys. Eventually his mother's friends, an Orthodox couple, recognized his blond curls and blue eyes under numerous layers of dirt. They took him in until he was reunited with his mother, who escaped from prison in 1944.

In 1960, he received an engineering degree from The Institute of Technology in Russia. In August of 1978, after a 7-month journey through Europe, which included a 4-month stay in Italy, Alex immigrated with his wife, daughters, mother and mother-in-law to Louisville.

Once in America, Alex pursued many of his interests. For many years he worked as a stain glass artist. He also made engravings on marble and wood. Even though Alex was extremely artistic and creative, he was an entrepreneur by heart; he was always passionate about his pursuits and threw himself into his work whole heartedly. He started many companies. His keen sense of creativity enabled him to design and distribute various products over the course of many years. Several years ago he founded Memi Tech, a company aiding people with keeping their health care history organized on wallet-sized USB cards. Memi Tech was recently featured on national television for developing one of the top ten products to help save lives. He was the president of the company until he passed away.

Alex was an avid toy collector (he particularly enjoyed antique, metal wind-up toys) and was a huge fan of Mickey Mouse. He had an amazing sense of humor; overwhelming kindness and love for life that made people gravitate towards him. He was always "the life of the party," right up until the end, even in his hospital bed. He was also a talented musician in his youth. Singing and music were always a passion of his. Alex also loved writing; several years ago he wrote a screenplay called "Russian Blues." He was a truly humble and unique man that will be missed and loved by many who will forever remember his spirit, devotion, support, and abundant love of life.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Anna David Sud; two daughters, Marina Alexander Sud of Cornwall, NY and Natasha Alexander Sud of Louisville; a sister-in-law, Esther Karporvich; a nephew, Slava Gomonuck, his wife Yelena Medvedovskaya, their son Mark; and many, many friends in Louisville and all over many states.

"To our dearest Papa...Sasha...Alex: ' You will always be with us... you are our heart.'" His funeral will be 11 a.m. Monday, May 24, 2010 at Herman Meyer & Son, 1338 Ellison Avenue, followed by burial in Anshei Sfard Cemetery. Friends and family may visit at the funeral home beginning at 10 a.m. Monday.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Michael Quinlan Brain Tumor Foundation.

My father passed away on May 21st, 2010 at 6:12 pm. We are getting details for his service and funeral today and I will post them on here as soon as possible. I think it will be this Monday.

***A month ago today, on April 20th, my father went to get his first chemo infusion. He was so excited to get started b/c we had heard so many great things about Avastin, the drug that was going to help him fight his two cancers. He was doing so well up until that point and it BREAKS my heart to have to write and say that the chemo did not work, and in fact made my father very, very sick. We checked him into Baptist East on May 3rd, and every day he got worse and worse. He was taken to the ICU on May 8th for pneumonia and other major complications. We were overjoyed when he was taken out of ICU and we were told that they would do everything to get my dad "back on his feet". And everything was done but the cancer spread, and we were told he had no chance. He is being kept 'comfortable' now, and we are with him at the hospital every day. I can tell he is fighting as hard as he can and does not want to let go. We just want him to be at peace. He has suffered for over a year now. I don't know why this happened, especially to him. He loves life so much. All we can do is wait and whisper in his ear that we love him.

Thank you to everyone for visiting, sending flowers, all the endless calls, texts and emails. It is your love that keeps us strong. Well, as strong as we can be. Please check back here for further information as it is soon to come.

***Update 3/09/10: My father has been getting radiation on his head for about a week now. We are going Thurs to meet with his doctor to see how that is going. So far he is doing good w/ the chemo he was taking for his rectum and now for his brain tumor. The radiation he was getting for a tumor near his rectum is now over and he is walking for short periods each day. He is so happy that he is able to walk some now. We all are.

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated, sent cards, flowers, emails, called, etc. I have complete strangers emailing me and it is very touching. Thank you to all my wonderful friends for going out of their way to help me this past month. Your help is helping me be strong for my mom and dad. And the fundraiser was a huge success and it had a wonderful turnout. I felt so much love and support. It really was a very special evening. My family wants to thank everyone involved and everyone for coming.

Love, N

For the last 8 months, my dad has been unable to walk. He was misdiagnosed many times and even had an unnecessary surgery that worsened his condition. Somehow, during all these months, and after seeing a dozen doctors, it was overlooked that he has a tumor growing on his rectum. This tumor is invading his prostate (he already had prostate and kidney cancer ten years ago which left him with one kidney) and this Friday, Feb. 12th, he was supposed to have a surgery where his rectum, prostate and bladder were to be removed. But instead, last Saturday night, Feb. 6th, he was rushed to the hospital b/c he lost his speech and was having a mild stroke. After an MRI was done Sunday, it was discovered he had two tumors in his brain. The surgeon said he could remove one and radiate the other and that my dad was going to be "ok" and "just fine". But unfortunately things have turned for the worse...

My dad has glioblastoma multiforme, the most malignant type of brain tumor. He has to start radiation and chemo on his brain and other tumor as soon as possible. And we are also following non traditional cancer treatments as well.

So far he is himself, minus the shaved head and endless pain, but he still cracks jokes and flirts with all the nurses. But needless to say my mother, sister and I are all devastated and heartbroken. And my father is in shock. Those of you that know him, know how wonderful he is. Those that have not met him, well, he has more life in him and charm and humor and wit and talent and intelligence then you could possibly imagine. He has always supported me no matter what. My dad is the best father I could ever ask for and he has been the best husband to my mother. He is not ready to leave this life. The thought of ever losing him is killing me, but we are all trying to stay strong, including my dad. He wants to fight this fight with all that he has. He will never just give up.

We are trying to do everything possible to help him as much as we can and after many discussions, we realized one main thing : we don't have the finances to pay for all of this. The medicine alone is astonishingly expensive (*We are finding out more and more each day how expensive his medicine is. Please know all donations are going primarily to this). And even with his insurance, we are facing overwhelming expenses. Also, most important to us and my dad, is that after we get him into an initial treatment center here in Louisville, that we then take him to the best rehab treatment center outside of Louisville. That being his main wish has become our main goal.

I feel uncomfortable asking for money, but I am left with no choice. So if you can donate, please use the link below. The money will go into my Paypal account and then I will transfer it into my parents bank account. Anything you can donate will help us. If anyone has any other ideas of how we can get financial help, please email me.

Thank you to everyone in advance if you donate or even if you take time to just read this and pray and send your love.

Please remember to take care of yourself, love one another and spend time with your family and friends b/c you never, ever know when you might lose them.

*** I think a lot of people are having problems leaving comments and I apologize for that. I think you have to join the blog or something in order to do so. So people have just emailed me and that is fine of course. Everything I receive is shared with my family immediately.