A Mormon Father with Terminal Cancer Shares Christ’s Message by Marching

By Kyle Nielson
pride 2
     My name is Kyle Nielson.  I am the 44 year old father of 4 children.  None of whom are gay, and if they were?  I would still love them without question or bias.  This is a non-issue for me. This year my wife and my 3 daughters, and I chose to march in the Salt Lake City Pride Parade with Mormons Building Bridges.
     I am also a 44 year old father fighting cancer.  Terminal cancer.  (Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare bile duct cancer of the liver, in case anyone is interested.  It usually strikes people in their 70’s that often have liver damage.  I am none of the above. I am a fluke and an anomaly.  I have hardly had a sick day in my entire life until this diagnosis.  I never heard of this cancer until 3 months ago sitting in an oncologists office.  It took me another month to learn how to pronounce the word).
     As a 44 year old dad, it sucks to have cancer, it is even worse having terminal cancer.  I am at a point in my life where I have to seize every opportunity and moment.  There are no second chances for me right now.
     I have one daughter who also feels very strongly about loving and supporting everyone regardless of sexual orientation and she has asked many times to make this march as a family.
     This year was our year to march.
     Marching in the parade was an amazing experience for me and the response from the crowd was humbling.  At one point, I noticed the loud cheers and wondered what they were cheering for.  About a block in, I realized it was US, the Mormons Building Bridges group, that they were cheering for.
     My once strong body, a body that was able to carry 60+ pound backpacks in the Uinta Mountains for days and do long mountain hikes, is more easily tired now.   Cancer and chemo drugs have taken a toll on me.  It takes a lot out of me to walk distances that used to be easy.  A hot day walking on asphalt makes it even harder.  When we arrived at the parade, I wasn’t sure I could walk the whole route and considered just watching the parade from the street.  My wife encouraged me to walk with them.  I am so glad I did.  The crowd gave me strength and I felt great.
     I want to teach my children important lessons before I go.  In all ways I have been robbed of years of teaching time with them.  It was important for me to go and march and teach them this lesson……the lesson that Jesus said LOVE EVERYONE!  I wanted to show my gay brothers and sisters that I love them, regardless.  I wanted to show my children what I feel, and think, and believe, in a way that will stick with them after I’m gone.  I want them to know that it is right and good to love ALL people.
     It is especially important to love those who are different from them.  I wanted to “walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.”  I wanted to make a memory and experience that would linger on through the years, when I am gone.
     For me and my family it was, hands down, a great experience.  We will be back next year for sure.
photo (3)Kyle’s wife Dorien is sharing their family’s journey as they pass through his experience with terminal cancer at their blog http://www.thisiswhativegotfortoday.blogspot.ca/
Admin note:  Cancer treatment is a financial catastrophe for families who are trying to cope. Consider contributing to help Kyle and his family with the expensives of treatment http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/team-kyle/50207)