SCOTT GARNER PASSED away last night. Prayers and peace to Scott and his wife, Sherry, and their families.
Here’s the H-W column I wrote on their wedding day, April 30, 2011.
THE GROOM IS usually a bit nervous heading down the aisle on his wedding day.
Not Scott Garner. He’s just glad to be walking at all.
Scott, 49, has lung cancer. He was diagnosed last November and given three months to three years to live. He’s getting married today to Sherry Hills, the well-known Quincy Realtor. A setback in his chemo treatments meant he spent part of this week in Blessing Hospital, recovering from dehydration and low blood pressure.“Nah, I’m not nervous,” Scott said Thursday from his hospital bed. “I’ll be fine, just gotta get better so I can get out of here.”
Scott and Sherry have been together for a couple of years. When he asked her to marry him in January, and there was no hesitation — “I knew she would accept,” Scott says with a shrug.
The fact her fiancee has terminal cancer hasn’t thrown Sherry. The wedding at 929 Church in Calftown today is small. The reception tonight is bigger.
Faith and love, in the end, are huge.
“God will take care of him. I plan on sticking by him,” Sherry said Thursday, standing in the fifth floor hallway outside Scott’s room. “I’ve just been praying. We are all terminal, you know. I mean, today, you might fall in front of a truck.”
Scott owns SGL Motors in Quincy, the Scrub-A-Dub Laundromat and various properties in town. He smoked for many years. In November, doctors found a 6-inch mass in his lung.
He’s been blasted with chemotherapy since, and the mass has shrunk to about 3 inches.
“I am cautiously optimistic,” Scott says. “I’m very encouraged because it’s still treatable, not curable. And sure, I’m afraid to die, I don’t want to die.
“Sure, there’s been days I’ve been mad at God, the ‘why me’ thing, but when I’m done I’m OK. I’m just trying to be grateful and feel fortunate for the days I get and I go from there.”
Scott says his oncologist, Dr. Sabbir Safdar of St. Louis, has been a great doctor, and Safdar will be at the wedding today. Safdar actually started crying when delivering the news Scott had cancer, and he encouraged Scott to face his fears head on.
“He told me I couldn’t be afraid to die,” Scott says. “He said God would take care of me.”
Scott and Sherry have found comfort in faith, unbelievable support from family and friends, and they appreciate a new-found perspective. There was an issue with the wedding flowers this week, and Sherry simply shrugged it off and said, “It will be fine.”
Scott was doing well with the chemo until this week. He started getting sick on Easter Sunday and spent several days in bed battling nausea until he finally checked in Wednesday to Blessing.
On Friday, he was told he’d have to stay in the hospital due to a low white blood cell count. But Scott talked his doctor into letting him at least go to the wedding today. The reception at the Microtel Inn is still being planned, as well.
Scott and Sherry talked about the wedding, about what to do if he wasn’t quite up to getting to the church.
“Have it here,” Sherry said, pointing to Scott’s room.
“I’m going to the wedding,” Scott said. “The rehearsal on Friday, now that I can skip.”
Battling a terminal disease, Scott has decided attitude, faith and support from family and friends will make the difference.
“I have never been so content in my life,” he says.