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Finding Humor in Life’s Lessons vBy Brian Teel Some people come in your life as blessings. Some come in your life as lessons. ~Mother Teresa Life’s lessons are what make us unique individuals. Some people have lessons that can be profound and life changing, while others face teachings that are simple and uncomplicated. It is what we learn in life that give us the experience and courage we need to make our journey successful from start to finish. Chris Schloss has been given many lessons during his lifetime. What he has learned from some of those, is that life is fragile, and at times, extremely difficult. But he has also understood that life is beautiful and that there are people in this world, and in his life that have incredible amounts of compassion and generosity. His life lessons have made him a man that is courageous and strong. He has learned there is always value in life and that even though some days are harder than others, never give up and never lose sight of the wondrous things life has to offer. Chris experienced a childhood that would make many of us envious. His father, a man of vision, moved his family from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Sioux Falls, South Dakota after he purchased two radio stations in the early nineties. 103.7 KRRO and KWSN. After being in the radio business for a time Chris’s father, Barry Schloss, wanted to try a new venture and set his sights on The Boy Scout Camp west of Yankton, South Dakota. “Dad decided he wanted out of the radio business and came down to The Boy Scout Camp and was going to be a Ranger there for a couple of years. That couple of years has now turned into twenty-five years and he has said he is a really big kid with a really big sandbox!” Chris made the camp a major part of his life growing up. He has worked in nearly every capacity available there. He has been a Training Host Director, Camp Medic, and everything in between. “The camp is a little gem that a lot of people don’t know about. We have 300 to 500 people there every week for about 10 weeks throughout the summer. It is not uncommon to have campers from Texas, California, Maryland and other places there with their Boy Scout groups. We actually had a group come from Ireland and spend a week at the camp.” The Boy Scout Camp is not strictly for members of Boy Scouts, although during summer-camp it is specifically geared for the Boy Scouts program. Chris says the camp hosts off-season camps for groups like Mount Marty’s orientation team, the National Guard, Yankton Fire Department, USD fraternities and sororities, various church camps, and sport teams rent the camp to do training and team building. Chris tells me he is always busy doing something. He has a DJ business that he does on the side called Music Services, and he does events such as weddings and proms, having just rocked Avon’s Prom. 8vHISVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2018 Avon is where Chris resides with his wife Brooke, and their two children, twin girls, 21-month olds Lucille and Josephine. An IT specialist for the Yankton Elementary Schools is Chris’s full-time job. This job, Chris tells me, is challenging and is constantly moving forward with the latest technologies. “We stay technology forward with the advanced thinking in the district. In the school district there are technologies such as Windows, Chromebook, I-Pads, and a lot of different technology.” For those of you wondering what a Chromebook is, the quickest definition would be a laptop that utilizes Google’s OS operating system and stores data within a “cloud” which is the term used to describe a server such as G-Mail or Hotmail. Chris wanted to be a teacher initially while attending USD, but that changed in 2010 when Chris’s life changed. He says that as an IT specialist, he gets to be in the educational system and at times, in the classroom, instructing students and teachers on how to use the latest devices and technology. In 2010, Chris was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. Since that time he has been in constant battle with the disease and continues to wage a valiant fight against it. “Testicular Cancer is pretty simple, a little chemo and maybe a little surgery. I was the 2% who have to do a little more treatment and of that 2% I became the 1% that had to go even further.” As Chris received treatment for Testicular Cancer, more cancer was found, this time, in his lungs. It was then that he went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, a world-renowned hospital known for its advancements and cutting-edge technologies in the field of medicine. “Up at the Mayo Clinic, they had found that the cancer had actually spread through my abdomen and up into my neck.” Chris had to undergo 10 surgeries to take care of the cancer in his lungs, abdomen, and neck. One of the procedures, a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, was an extremely difficult surgery to endure. “I had some big complications from the retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, the ‘R-P-L-N-D’ surgery. It was only to be a four-hour

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