Anita Mullaney with her grandson, Chase. A former nurse, Mullaney is now struggling in the terminal stage of lung cancer. Dr. David Krischer, who practiced in Delmar for years, is dedicating a cross-country bike trek to help with her medical bills.
BETHLEHEM People often go the distance for those they care about, but not many do it like Dr. David Krischer.
The longtime Delmar practitioner is on the far side of Minnesota right now after pedaling his bike for weeks from Rockport, Mass. Now, he's hoping that every mile he's come and every mile to the Pacific will help his former nurse Anita Mullaney, who is in the terminal stages of lung cancer.
“She is a sweet person and very thoughtful,” Krischer said last week from Battle Lake, Minn. “She had a pleasant way about her that endeared many people to her. Many former patients continued to send her cards for years after she had to retire.”
Though the cross-country trip had always been a goal for the recently-retired doctor, it wasn't until he got underway in July that he thought it could be something bigger. Now, he hopes people will dedicate a penny to Mullaney's medical bills for every mile he rides. With a trip that's expected to go 3,500 to 4,000 miles (depending on whether Krischer has the energy and time to head down to Los Angeles) each donor would be pledging $35 to $40.
“As I kept pedaling, the thought just formulated: 'Hey instead of just doing it for me, I could help a friend,'” Krischer said.
Krischer retired last year after a long career, mostly at Community Care Physicians on Delaware Avenue in Delmar.
Mullaney, a nonsmoker, was suddenly diagnosed with lung cancer over three years ago. She's fought a battle since then that doctors now say is unwinnable. She's currently at her Rensselaer home with her husband, Gerry, under hospice care.
Gerry Mullaney said Dr. Krischer's ride is a terrific gesture, and one that will also be helpful after years of medical bills.
“We have a decent insurance program but when you come up with things like cancer, the copays alone... it really starts getting expensive,” said Gerry Mullaney.