Hard rock legend TED NUGENT is known for his outspoken political views and raunchy song lyrics, but he recently showed a softer side when he met hospice patient Michael Golder at his concert in Peoria, Illinois.
As a teenager, Golder played guitar and had hopes of being a musician. He even moved to Nashville to chase his dream before serving with the Army in Vietnam.
Golder was just 19 and already a veteran when a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed. After a year in the hospital and a series of strokes, he was blind and in a wheelchair.
Even after all he’d been through, music was still a big part of his life, said Golder’s brother Stephen Kuhnke.
But the past three decades have taken their toll, and at 55, Golder is now a hospice patient. His life may have changed a lot, but his enthusiasm for rock’n'roll never has.
“He’s a ham,” says Golder’s nurse Thad Flohr of Passages Hospice. “Michael’s a real character.”
So Golder’s caregivers contacted non-profit organization Hospice Dreams to see what kind of special day they could arrange for the lifelong fan. Hospice Dreams grants wishes for adult hospice patients, with each Dream customized to the patient’s favorite activities.
The organization contacted musician Ted Nugent, who was holding a concert at the Peoria Civic Center near Golder’s nursing home. Nugent donated tickets and backstage passes to the show so Golder could have “one awesome night”.
“I’m gonna meet Ted Nugent,” he told everyone he saw the day of the concert.
Nugent welcomed Golder, his brother and his caregivers backstage. Nugent’s dog Thunder and drummer Mick Brown were also on hand for the visit.
The Motor City Madman joked that Golder should come on stage and dance with him from his wheelchair. Golder shook his head, but accepted a gift of guitar picks.
“These’ll give you some really sexy licks [on the guitar],” Nugent said.
Although Golder couldn’t see Nugent on stage, he heard Nugent dedicate a song to him and call out his name.
Golder did his part by bobbing his head and singing along with the music.
“I never knew Michael would get something like this,” Kuhnke said. “What a great organization. I’m indebted to everybody that takes care of him.”
For more information about Hospice Dreams or to make a Dream come true through a donation, see Hospicedreams.org.