A man who became a political commentator after going viral over a 2008 interaction with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama is in a harrowing battle for his life.
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Joe Wurzelbacher, who affectionately became known as “Joe the Plumber,” burst onto the political scene when he questioned Obama about tax policy; he later became a political commentator, traveling the U.S. and appearing on countless TV and radio programs.
Wurzelbacher, who later somewhat retreated from politics to focus on his family, was diagnosed last year with Stage 3 pancreatic cancer, and recent scans show the disease has tragically progressed.
Fans and loved ones have come together to help Wurzelbacher, his wife, Katie, and their children with a GiveSendGo crowdfunding effort aimed at easing medical expenses and helping prepare for an uncertain future. That fundraiser, which has brought in more than $72,000, left the plumber emotional.
“I just honestly started crying,” he told CBN’s Faithwire. “There’s a lot of great people out there … they’re wanting to do good and, when they find they’re able to, most people will.”
As Wurzelbacher grapples with the emotional news about the progression of his cancer, he’s also feeling encouraged by the love others are showing his family.
“It’s astounding and just gives you more faith in people,” he added. “My wife and I sat and cried for a while and thanked God.”
Wurzelbacher, who has children aged 28, 10, 8, and 5, said his cancer journey has “changed his perspective” on life.
“People are going through things every day, and you don’t know what’s going on in their lives,” he said. “Having a kind word … and saying you’ll pray for them, it makes a difference.”
Wurzelbacher’s faith has sustained him, and others’ prayers have offered powerful solace amid some of the most challenging moments imaginable. Despite chemotherapy treatments, the cancer has reportedly spread in recent months beyond his pancreas.
“It makes me very happy to know they’re willing to take the time to talk to God for me and for my health and a cure,” he said.
The popular plumber said he turned to the Psalms to help temper his initial anger following his diagnosis. These Scriptures “helped reinforce” his faith.
As for Wurzelbacher’s children, he said his three youngest don’t know the full depth of his struggles, as he wants them to remain happy and looking forward to the coming school year.
“They know daddy has stomach problems and that I’m sick, but they don’t know the full scope of things,” he said. “Until it becomes necessary to say anything, I don’t want them thinking about losing their father.”
Wurzelbacher also expressed joy over the fact his 10-year-old recently accepted the Lord.
“My 10-year-old just got saved,” he said. “She got baptized just a month ago, and it was an incredible thing.”
As his medical woes persist, he and his family are taking steps to prepare and protect his wife and children. All the while, he’s turning to God in belief and prayer for a miracle.
“God doesn’t promise us an easy road,” Wurzelbacher said. “He just promises to be there for us when we go on these roads.”
You can support the Wurzelbacher family’s GiveSendGo here.
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