DANBURY, Conn. -- Richard Neptune always ate well and took care of himself. “He did everything right,” said Debbie, his wife of 39 years. That's why when he began having trouble walking in July 2014, the couple immediately sought medical care.
After being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma tumor on his spine, Neptune began treatment. In spite of the efforts, his prognosis continued to be grim. Still, Rich's spirit remained strong. “He had two goals; completing the Disney Marathons in January of 2015, and turning 65,” said Debbie. Defying the odds, and doctor’s recommendations, Rich ran the half and full marathon at Disney and a little more than two months later, celebrated turning 65.
Due to the advancing cancer, Rich was transferred to Regional Hospice and Home Care in Danbury. “Regional was the best thing that ever happened to us,” said Debbie. Both she and her daughter Lindsay had been serving as Rich’s caregivers since the diagnosis. Once he was at the Center, they were finally able to find peace.
Rich received care at the Center for 3 ½ weeks, a period in which he and the family developed a close bond with nurses and other staff members. Surrounded by friends and family, Rich died on May 13, 2015.
“Rich was a great husband, a great friend and a great father,” said Debbie. She recalled the instance when Lindsay found herself facing her first half marathon alone after a friend backed out. Despite it being a 'Princess Half Marathon', Rich jumped into action and ran alongside.
Upon Rich's death, Kevin Corbett, one of his close friends, organized the “Circle of Friends” Golf Outing to honor Rich’s spirit and generosity. The event raised over $10,000 for patient care at Regional Hospice and Home Care and served as a fitting tribute to Rich's legacy.
For more information on Rich's legacy, click here .