Friends gather to celebrate life of former Dubuque teacher - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Friends gather to celebrate life of former Dubuque teacher

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

On Saturday, friends and family helped one Dubuque man cross one item off of his bucket list. Thom Determan was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1998. He was later diagnosed with a rare carcinoid condition.

"It imitates cancer, but doesn't respond to cancer treatments," Determan said Saturday.

"It's not reversible. I'm in what they call a slow decline," Determan said.

He said in the next two weeks to a month, Hospice Care nurses will be able to tell him how much longer he will live. The condition stopped Determan from crossing one important item off his bucket list.

"We were originally going to go to Cleveland, Ohio, and visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but with my medical complications we decided to bring Cleveland to Dubuque," Determan said.

Determan's friends, family, and former students all came together to create "Thomfest," a day to celebrate Determan and rock out to some rock and roll.

"I really care about Thom and he's really done a lot for the community and he's done a lot to inspire others to do something for the community," Determan's former student Eric Lucy said.

Determan said the event also offered closure for some of his relationships.

"I've really been placed with a luxury that I get to die slowly and while doing that I get to bring closure to a lot of relationships," Determan said.

He said now that he has crossed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame off of his bucket list, he'll begin working on other bucket list items.

"My other buckets are still to come, I've got some other ones. Hopefully my next verbal bucket will be saying to Katie (his wife) in the fall, 'Look the first snow of the year'," Determan said.

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