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Man leaves legacy of humor and faith


Family collects cancer battle blogs into book, 'Trail Mix: Hold the Chemo'



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July 28, 2010
ST.CLAIR COUNTY — The brain cancer might have affected Jeff Ide's personality and moods but it certainly didn't rob him of his trademark sense of humor. The 44- year-old Riley Twp. husband and father lost his battle to the disease a year ago, but his inspiring and funny words will live on through a newly published book, "Trail Mix: Hold the Chemo."

The book is filled with Jeff's journal entries and blog posts written while he underwent treatment and several surgeries for glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most aggressive types of brain tumors.

"I thought I was losing some more hair from the chemo but I found it. It was on the pillow. I saw the hair and thought we bought a cat," Jeff dead-panned in February 2009.

He joked about the man purse or 'murse' he started carrying to chemo treatments and his preoccupation with germs. He began referring to Henry Ford Hospital as 'the Hank' and tried to get a laugh out of his doctors and nurses.

Jeff had a way of turning the unpleasant realities into humorous stories—everything from the not-so-nice side effects of medication to his impaired motor skills and roller coaster emotions.

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Brett, Diane, Jeff and Andrew Ide were able to celebrate the 2008 holidays together before a brain tumor claimed Jeff’s life in June 2009.
Jeff also took the time to write about his faith—how he relied on it and what life lessons he was learning along the way.

At one point, Jeff says he'd rather have the tumor than be his 'old' self.

"What I'm saying is that the old Jeff's relationship with Christ was very distant and now that I was more focused on Him I didn't want to lose that," he wrote.

Jeff's wife Diane said he received lots of positive feedback from family, friends and even strangers. The family learned that his postings were sometimes used in Bible studies.

"His blogs were helping people think differently," Diane said.

There were also lots of happy events Jeff got to share, including his 'bucket list' trip to the Hoover Dam with family and renewing his wedding vows with Diane in a Las Vegas chapel complete with an Elvis Presley impersonator presiding.

Jeff continued writing, up until about one week before he died on June 30, 2009. He wrote a lengthy post thanking his caregivers.

"We all miss him terribly, but he left us with a lot of good things to remember him by," Diane said.

She and sons, Andrew and Brett, contributed to the book's introduction.

Jeff was a member of Zion Methodist Church in Capac and belonged to Hogs in Ministry (HIM). He worked as a quality engineer at Infineon Technologies in Livonia.

Diane said that a portion of the book sale proceeds will go towards helping local people with medical expenses and medication costs.

"Trail Mix: Hold the Chemo" can be purchased online at www.lulu.com.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
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