Join the Fight

He showed up at the side door of the church and told me he had some groceries for our food pantry in his van. I was thankful. We have a tremendous amount of people who are in need here in Laclede County and just as soon as the pantry fills up, it empties, and that is just about where we were. Bare shelves, empty freezer, there were a few bags of rice and beans, but that was pretty much it. So I followed him to his van to bring in the groceries and I realized something, Nathan Cole doesn't use adjectives well.

He told me he had some groceries, but what he should have said is that he had a lot, a large quantity, a plethora, a profusion, a plentitude, an abundance, a heap, or in more common vernacular, a buttload, of groceries. What I saw when I went out wasn’t the back of a minivan full of groceries, it was a full van load. The back was full, the seats were full, the floorboards were full. Then after we got it all unloaded, our pantry was full too.

Dozens and dozens of families were able to go to bed with food in their stomachs because he brought that massive cornucopia of nutrition to the church, and he never wanted any credit. No tax receipt, no mention of his name to the congregation, not even a shout out on Facebook. He never wanted anything like that, and he has brought “some groceries” to the church several times. 

If you know Nathan this kind of thing doesn't surprise you, it’s part of his awe-shucks, good ‘ol boy charm. It flows out of a big heart for people and a love for life that even his recent struggles haven’t wrestled away from him. 

On April 30, 2016 at just 36 years old, Nathan was hospitalized for what appeared to be a really bad case of pneumonia, but what they discovered, and later diagnosed, was a rare mesothelioma cancer. He recently had travel to Maryland to find a surgeon with the specific expertise to perform the surgery and remove the tumor. He is currently recovering in ICU waiting to make the long trip back home.

It’s not often in life that you get a chance to find out how many people really love you but Cole has that chance and He needs our love more than ever. It's been amazing to see how people have responded to that need. Tonight at Starlight Lanes here in Lebanon a “Bowl For Cole” event has been planned, and even if you didn’t get on a team there are all kinds of special prizes people can bid on in a silent auction. There are t-shirts, stickers, wrist bands, and even restaurants like Senior Peppers who are working to raise money to support this young father, businessman, and friend as he fights for life. 

There are two reasons people are going to all this effort. The first is that we love this nut, and if you’ve met him you know why. He’s just like a big ‘ol teddy bear, you can’t help but love him! And the other reason is simple. Cancer treatment, travel, and still trying to take care of your family is expensive. Intimidatingly expensive.

So we’re just trying to help out a guy who has spent so much of his life helping out others. Even if you can’t make it tonight, even if you don’t live in our community, you can help by donating to the Fight Like Cole GoFund Me account. Every little bit helps, and big bits help a lot!

We each are given gifts and talents to help people out and to do what we can to enrich the lives of others. Today you get a chance to do just that so, I’ld like to urge you to do what you can to encourage and help out a good friend of mine. Thanks in advance!


  1. Kelly you are amazing for sharing this! You are exactly right, Nathan has always been caring and kind. He does for others and asks for nothing in return! Thank you for sharing Kelly! #FIGHTLIKECOLE


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