Gary and Vicki Dibble were living their best life hunting and fishing in rural Whittier Alaska when Vicki was diagnosed with lung cancer. Terrified by the thought of losing his cherished wife of 30-years, Gary did everything he could to help her fight the disease, including taking her to Arizona for cyber knife surgery. Vicki’s condition appeared to be improving when she suffered a stroke that impacted her left side to the point where she couldn’t use her left hand.
When doctors in Alaska could no longer help, Vicki and Gary returned home to Minneapolis where they had lived for most of their married life. Their goal was to be close to their children and grandchildren, get better care, and face what was to come. Gary said, “Vick went through one session of amino therapy, and things went downhill from there. The cancer had spread to her bones, and she couldn’t move. She was in so much pain.” Vicki’s amino therapy doctor told Gary, “She isn’t coming out of this,” and recommended hospice care to keep her comfortable. Gary had lost his son the year before to Covid, and his sister a year before that. “I’ve lost a lot of loved ones, and to lose my best friend was terrible.”
With hospital bills piling up in Alaska and Minneapolis, Gary knew he would need to sell his Alaskan fishing boat and other belongings to pay for hospice care. Then one of the hospital doctors asked for some time to figure things out. Gary said, “He figured it out. He found Our Lady of Peace.”
“The hospital social worker said, ‘it won’t cost you a dime, it’s charitable,’ but Gary didn’t want charity, so he said. “I will do whatever it takes to pay my bill.” “It’s not like that,” the social worker said, and explained the mission of Our Lady of Peace. “I couldn’t have found a better place for Vick,” Gary said. “I’m not rich, but I sure felt rich there.”
Gary said, “The OLP doctors immediately controlled Vick’s pain, and the nurses and other staff were unbelievable. They cared for her body and her spirit.” He added, “I wasn’t looking for a handout, but it was given to me with a silver spoon. I’m so grateful we were led to this place. I would have had to sell everything I owned to pay for hospice care for Vick, but now I’m able to live the life we built together in Alaska, doing what made us happy.”