Cornerstone Hospice tells the story of one patient’s special petition and life achievement
“…the visual sharpness, the dexterity and skills learned through years of shooting at a rapidly flying target… these skills all come down to one’s individual abilities and performance and I walked away from each of my early shoots feeling like ‘I can do this!’” Arthur Scheck, Winter Haven
Arthur Scheck (age 81), a patient being cared for by Cornerstone Hospice, recently shared with hospice staff his desire to relive what had come naturally to him most of his life—even since childhood—but had been unable to do for years due to his current health condition: go fishing! Since no patient petition is too large for the Winter Haven-based nonprofit, plans soon were underway to take the Weehawken, New Jersey-born patient out fishing to Lake Walk in Water in Lake Wales, one of the many nationally-renowned fishing holes in Polk County.
A fisherman himself, James Rogers, registered nurse and case manager at Cornerstone Hospice as well as volunteer Barbara Cobb, took on the enjoyable task of taking the hospice patient fishing. Social worker Brenda Torres and the patient’s registered nurse Alice Richards saw to the expenses of the trip and fishing guide through the assistance of the Cornerstone Hospice Foundation. Within fifteen minutes of the outing, a seven-pound large mouth bass was hooked and Arthur Scheck was on his way to an enjoyable fishing trip!
“I’ve been fishing as far back as I can remember, since I was a little boy. I even got my son started on fishing,” says Scheck. In a recent interview at his Winter Haven home, however, which he shares with his wife Donna, he conveyed: “I’ll tell you what I’m passionate about, come with me”… he led the way to a room with one wall full from floor-to-ceiling with countless certificates, awards, and medals won over the years in the popular sport of skeet shooting, which he started as a hobby in New Jersey back in 1969. Scheck says his employer at the time was a skeet shooter. One year the CEO took all the employees to a shoot, and from that day on “the more I did it, the more I liked it!” says Scheck, now forty-three years into skeet shooting.
“I became passionate about skeet shooting because it is a sport of personal perfection where the bottom line of achievable personal results is entirely up to you.” Scheck continues, “The visual sharpness, the dexterity and skills learned through years of shooting at a rapidly flying target—sometimes flying from opposite directions, one from the left, another from the right (as in the case of ‘doubles’) and you have to strike both nearly simultaneously—these skills all come down to one’s individual abilities and performance and I walked away from each of my early shoots feeling like ‘I can do this!’” True enough, Scheck’s wall-full of awards is a testament that he indeed could do this and do it very well, indeed.
Scheck’s hospice nurse, Alice Richards RN, comments, “We at Cornerstone Hospice are elated to care for a patient like Arthur Scheck, and whether it is to have him relive his fishing days or bring to the community news that there’s a world champion living among us, it is patients like Arthur Scheck and his wife Donna that make our day!” In 2006, Scheck attended the World Championship Skeet Shooting Tournament in San Antonio, TX, where he competed in the Seniors Division, winning the Seniors Doubles World Championship at age 75. The term “doubles” means that the first skeet is shot up from the left, another skeet is shot up from the right, and the shooter needs to strike both at nearly eye-blinding speed. Arthur Scheck won the World Championship of Seniors Doubles in 2006.
Since 1984, nonprofit Cornerstone Hospice has been providing care for central Florida patients and families dealing with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness, and may be reached from anywhere in Polk County at (863) 291-5560 or toll-free (800) 503-5756, or visit the website www.cornerstonehospice.org and also www.SeriousIllness.org/Cornerstone. Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurances are accepted.
story by MANNY P. HERNANDEZ