Peter is 76 years old and married to Linda. They have 2 sons, Michael and Sean, and four grandchildren. Peter is a retired commercial real estate broker and did a lot of his work in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Racine. He loves to sail, travel, watch sports, go walking, entertaining/cooking, and enjoys history and learning about it.
Peter was diagnosed with stage 4 tongue cancer in November of 2018. At the base of his tongue was a tumor the size of an egg. Peter had to undergo very intense chemo and radiation treatments. These were extremely tough times for Peter and his family. His motivation then and now is his wife, family and something Vince Lombardi had said to him in 1967. Peter’s father worked for the Packers. This allowed Peter to get to know players and the coaching staff. On a plane ride in 1967, Vince Lombardi said to him, “I’m afraid of tomorrow. I represent 58 years of the National Football League. Peter, don’t you ever forget this, never forget! My name is Coach Vincent T. Lombardi and I never ever, ever, EVER lost a game in my life. In several games, time ran out. And tomorrow will NOT be one of them. I will win this battle!” Peter always repeated these words to himself through his cancer journey, and reminded himself to never give up.
Once Peter was cancer free, he had to teach himself how to swallow and eat again. Due to the way Peter’s head and neck had to be placed during chemo and radiation, he has a lot of scar tissue in his neck that caused him to not be able to look up straight or turn his head. That was when he was referred to physical therapy to begin rehab for this area.
Peter started seeing Joe Kucksdorf in May of 2019. This was not his first time working with Joe. A few years ago Peter had a knee replacement and worked with Joe then. He enjoyed Joe so much he wanted to go back to him and get help with his neck and head. Peter only has 3 months in Wisconsin because he spends his summers in Green Bay, winters in Florida, and the rest of the time at his home in Madison. He wanted Joe to make the best use of his time here in Green Bay and have an organized plan. Joe created a plan and they have been working hard together for the past few months. Joe gives Peter videos and printouts of the exercises Peter needs to work on daily at home.
Peter’s long-term goal is to get his neck back to 100% normal. Currently he has been able to make some improvements. When Peter started he was lacking 40 degrees of AROM from full extension. To date he is positive 10 degrees, a 50 degree overall difference.
Joe is so proud of Peter and enjoyed working with him. Here is what he had to say, “Peter’s story is amazing. His cancer prognosis was grim at best. However, through his faith, support of those around him and his down-right gritty determination, Peter not only survived he has thrived. Peter may not share it but the treatment he was put through for his cancer served as a case study and has lead the way to his doctors to providing a similar treatment regime to others with a similar presentation, giving hope of survival when there was little to none. Peter’s positive, fighting attitude has carried into physical therapy so much so I need to look to slow him down at times. It has been a pleasure to work with him and assist him on his recovery.” -Joe Kucksdorf
Since Joe has seen such great improvements from Peter, he suggested he also work with a personal trainer to assist in his strengthening process. Peter started working with Tim Grell at Bellin Health Fitness Center in July 2019. They have been working on, continuing to strengthen his neck area but also full body strengthening since his body is still recovering from Cancer.
Peter’s advice to others is, “Set a goal, no matter what happens in life, make a plan, and execute it. But be smart enough to admit when your wrong, and start a new plan. Life is not just black and white, it’s about managing the gray, and there’s a lot of gray in life. Make changes and adjustments but stay as close to the track as you can, and you’ll always achieve those goals.”