Gene Sommerfeld

Unwavering trust in the Roger Maris Cancer Center

August 28, 2018

“I knew that I would have to rely on my faith and my trust in God.”

Gene Sommerfeld remained unwavering in his faith even when faced with a difficult cancer diagnosis. Hear his story of tremendous courage:

During a routine dental cleaning, a dentist noted red spots on Sommerfeld’s gums. He referred Sommerfeld to a specialist who immediately ordered a cancer biopsy.

A week later, Sommerfeld was back in the doctor’s office where he was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. His doctor told Sommerfeld that he had a long journey ahead of him.

“I never dreamt that he would be saying the words that he said,” Sommerfeld recalled. “I never was a smoker. I never chewed tobacco.”

Sommerfeld, a retired teacher and principal of 42 years, didn’t let the cancer diagnosis keep him down. He chose to put his faith in the care provided at Roger Maris Cancer Center.

Surgery was scheduled immediately at Roger Maris to remove the cancer. That’s when Sommerfeld developed an especially meaningful relationship with the Sanford Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons. He continued to see them during his follow-up procedures and checkups, often teasing or joking with them.

“I thought the care there was first-rate, and as a veteran educator, I’d give them a grade A,” he said. “When I was diagnosed, I had several people say, you need to go out of state, but I chose to stay here in Fargo and at Sanford, and I was very happy that I made that decision.

“I think it’s important for the Fargo/Moorhead community to support Roger Maris, to say thank you, to show appreciation, and to assist in any way possible so that there will always be a Roger Maris Cancer Center in the future,” he said.