Neighbors help Jones Co. farmer with brain cancer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Neighbors help Jones Co. farmer with brain cancer

Friends and family members helped harvest 200 acres of the Brunscheens' corn Friends and family members helped harvest 200 acres of the Brunscheens' corn

In a classic case of Iowans helping Iowans, dozens of Eastern Iowa neighbors met the needs of one of their fellow farmers Thursday.

Gene Brunscheen has had a rough four months.

"I get pretty tired yet. After we did that radiation and stuff, it hits you pretty hard," he said.

"He was having headaches," his wife Shirlee Brunscheen said, "and we went to the doctor, and they found this tumor in his brain."

That was in July.

"It was a stage four, and it was in a place that was inoperable," Shirlee Brunscheen said.

Radiation and chemotherapy followed.

"It just wears you out something fierce," Gene Brunscheen said.

That's why neighbors, friends and family members stepped up to help Gene Brunscheen with the harvest.

"Today, they will be doing 200 acres," his wife said, standing in a cut field Thursday afternoon.

The community might not be able to cure cancer, but it can help on the road to remission.

"It's overwhelming how many have helped us through all of this," Shirlee Brunscheen said.

Ken Somerville is a longtime family friend, who helped Brunscheen Thursday.

"Farmers all get together and will help each other out in the time that they need help," Somerville said. "I'm sure he would do it for us if he were in the same situation."

For Brunscheen, chemo is not the only therapy.

"You can just tell: being out here in the field and combining and doing the things he loves, it's really bringing his spirit back," his wife said.

"Makes it go better when you're doing something," Brunscheen said.

Farming is something he loves.

"This has been his whole life," Shirlee Brunscheen said.

It's something he plans on doing for years.

"It's all I've ever done," he said.

Shirlee Brunscheen said harvesting and hauling the grain from those 200 acres would have taken two to three weeks if the family did it alone. It was a matter of one day, thanks to all the help.

The Brunscheens farm a total of 700 acres of corn, with 300 remaining acres for soybeans and cattle operations.

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