An Inspiration: Thank You
Tammy Nousek on 05/16/2013
Dear Paul and Gene,
I'm not sure you will even read this but I will give it a try. It is my sincere hope you or your people will actually read this. This is not a ploy or a plot to gain sympathy. Nor is it a sob story but one of struggle and success. I would like to let you know how much you and KISS have influenced me to keep going during the hardest time of my life. In Dec. 2004, at 37, I was admitted into the most advanced hospital in my area and spent the next month undergoing every medical test known to man trying to figure out what was wrong. Over the previous 18 months or so my ability to walk was diminishing and my sense of balance was no longer registering. Previous to that I was a dedicated teacher who taught Special Education and Drama. My teaching philosophy was to always hold the bar high and expect the students to reach for it. I encouraged them to believe they could do it and not give up. Guess what... they did and most went on to successful lives.
Back to me, I was given the news that I had approximately 6-8 weeks to live diagnosed with what the doctors thought was brain cancer. I also underwent a spinal cord operation and lost the ability to walk. While in the operation, that was on a video conference with the Mayo Clinic, it was determined that I had a very rare disease that only 5% of the world's population has. No one had a plan of action or had a future prognosis . I had to learn to live with the unknown. I spent months in the hospital and pulled strength from your songs and philosophy of not giving up. That drive that KISS had to be the band that headlined and filled stadiums gave me the motivation to stay alive and learn to walk on my own again. After two years of physical therapy, three times a week, I went from wheelchair to walker to cane to finally walking on my own. The only course of action the doctor knew was to try a drug called Prednisone. I was put on Prednisone and that destroyed my body. I went from 105 lbs to 180 lbs in a matter of weeks and I suffered most of the side effects of this very destructive drug. My self-esteem disappeared along with my career. Many days I read KISS books and watched KISS documentaries. I read and watched stories detailing the struggles endured and how KISS strived above them. During therapy I would listen to your own songs and other KISS songs. They kept me going and striving to succeed and not give up. Today, I am still here and after spending a lifetime of giving to others and inspiring them, I did something just for me. While I wrestled with the decision, I bought the ultimate fan package for your concert in Calgary on July 13, 2013 during the Calgary Stampede. The "Hottest Band in the World" is playing during the "World's Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth". It has been a dream of mine to meet the band in person and I am asking you for a moment of your valuable time during this meeting to express my eternal gratefulness for making me believe I could achieve something if I believed enough and did not give up. I am alive and walking because you and KISS inspired and motivated me to never quit. I have gone from teaching students to teaching doctors and being written about in medical journals. This is not a made up story or a ploy and can be authenticated if necessary.
Some examples of the songs that inspired me were:
My Way and Reason To Live: Crazy Nights Stand: Sonic Boom
I Will Be There: Carnival of Souls A World Without Heroes: Music From The Elder
Live To Win: Live To Win Raise Your Glasses: Psycho Circus
Some days I am in excruciating pain that can be both devastating and overwhelming and I listen to your songs (I have every one of your albums so there are hours of listening [and plenty of choice] to cover the hours of pain) to help me get through it. In some small way I hope I can inspire others the way you have inspired me.
Respectfully, a grateful and loyal fan,