Lance's Journal: Fellow Farmers to the Rescue: Oct. 31

They call it a harvest bee. It's a time when the friendly folks in rural America set aside all of their own harvesting and focus on farmers who are in need of a helping hand. You will never, ever witness a more profound display of brotherhood.

It's a gesture of goodwill that has been know to bring grown men to tears. Dean surveys his field full of farmers harvesting his crops, "Well, I'm a little overwhelmed, it's a lots and lots of people. Lots of good family. It's a little overwhelming."

Overwhelming is what happens when people come from far and wide and bring millions of dollars worth of equipment and donate hundreds of man hours. "I tried to hire a guy to help me pick one day and he says you ain't hirin' nobody. So they rounded up a harvesting bee for us, " says Dean.

And boy did they ever! Six combines, 9 grain carts and 12 semis devoured more than 200 acres of corn in just 5 hours. It would have taken Dean at least 5 days, "I just think of all the dollars that everybody brought over. It's like wow!"

Dean fought off Hodgkins lymphoma when he was 24 years old. Now, 24 years later, the cancer is back and this 48-year-old just finished his 6th chemo treatment in early October.

John Sorensen is one of the harvesting bee organizers, "When the wind was blowing yesterday people would say, 'I don't know why I live in Nebraska,' but today, I know why I live in Nebraska."

Dean's now at the Med Center in Omaha this preparing for a six-week isolation period in which he will receive a stem cell transplant. In hopes that this dreaded disease will never return.


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