Ron A. Ungerman was a life-long resident of Minneapolis. He was well known, well-loved and well-respected throughout the community. After serving in the Army, attending the University of MN and marrying his high school sweetheart, Margaret, Ron became one of the first licensed contractors in the state of Minnesota. In 1977, he founded R.A. Ungerman Construction Co, a thriving local business that has been helping Minnesotans restore their properties after disasters for more than 35 years.
When Ron was young, he began smoking. Throughout his adult years, he worked hard to beat the habit. Finally, shortly after his 60th birthday, he quit smoking once and for all.
Just six years later, in March of 2007, Ron was diagnosed with lung cancer and emphysema. He immediately began a chemotherapy regimen to shrink the tumor. When a thoracotomy attempt to remove the tumor was unsuccessful, he was put on chemotherapy with radiation. After receiving a good prognosis, Ron bounced back, never lost hope and started living his ‘new normal’. Ron and Marg began traveling again and became active in A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation’s annual Twin Cities Lung Run/Walk. Ron often expressed his gratitude for each and every day he could share with his loving family and friends.
Two years later, a PET scan detected a different cancer cell. Once again, Ron was put on chemotherapy with radiation and once again, he rebounded. However, this time the treatments along with his emphysema created breathing issues. He did his best to fight the more recent health challenges by exercising daily and watching his diet.
In November of 2010, Ron and Marg headed off on another traveling adventure, and what an adventure it was! While flying over the Atlantic, Ron’s non-cancerous lung collapsed. For the next four months he was treated in nine medical facilities from Paris to Minneapolis. Ron finally succumbed to Klebsiella Pneumonia, a side affect of cancer weakened lungs in February of 2011.
Ron, like so many other lung cancer patients, had a zest for life and his death left a hole in his family, as well as a hole in our community. For Ron and all those at risk of lung cancer, please join us in the fight to end this disease through:
- Increased awareness about the many causes of lung cancer;
- Increased public awareness about currently available, safe screening options for those at risk; and
- Increased, fair funding for lung cancer research to change outcomes for all who are coping with lung cancer (smokers and nonsmokers, young and old, men and women).
Lung cancer is anyone’s cancer, and every life is worth fighting for.