Longtime truck driver and lifelong Antigo resident Rod “Fly Rod” Fleischman was diagnosed with the rare neurodegenerative brain disorder PSP, or progressive supra-nuclear palsy, in addition to severe cervical spinal stenosis. In his time of need, the family and friends of Rod are celebrating his life on Saturday, October 14th at Celebrations.
Rod had driven truck for over 30 years, the last 16 of which he worked for Pioneer Transportation out of a Merrill. Forced to return as a result of his debilitating condition, Rod spent his work time frequently making runs to Indianapolis while maintaining a dedicated standard of safety on the road. Truck driving was his true passion in life.
Fleischman worked extensively with the March of Dimes and the Relay for Life programs and had a love of the outdoors, particularly hunting. A passionate talker, Rod was always willing to help others before his condition weakened him.
Rod’s condition has rapidly progressed since the beginning of this year. He has since lost the ability to speak and drive truck, and has encountered significant problems both swallowing and choking. The rare disease, affecting just a few persons out of 100,000, has since put Rod at a high risk for pneumonia, aspiration and choking. Fleischman has lost 70 lbs. since being diagnosed with PSP.
Rod and his wife, Peggy, do have health insurance but have been unable to obtain life insurance. Struggling financially, Rod’s family have organized his celebration of life to help ease the burden of his incurable disease.
The celebration of life benefit will be held at Celebrations (N2497 Hwy 45 S., south of Antigo across from Not Bob’s), where food, raffles and drawings will go benefit Rod and his family in their difficult time. Donations are still needed for raffle and drawing prizes and donators can contact either Angie (715-216-4150) or Dee (715-610-4238). Donations may also be mailed to Celebrations at the address provided above.