“Mr. Thomaschek is 90 years old and has lived in Asia most of his adult life, most recently in Taiwan. He is without many financial resources and his care situation isn’t good–the hospice cares almost exclusively for AIDS patients and isn’t well-equipped to meet the needs of someone in his situation.
Mr. Thomaschek was born in New York in the 1920s and is a WWII vet. He entertained the boys with stories from the war years–the weeks spent crossing the Atlantic, the invasion of southern France that he was part of, the liberation of Paris, being injured by an artillery blast and spending months in the hospital before traveling home to New York on the Queen Elizabeth II. He’s led a fascinating life and loves to tell stories. Mr. Thomaschek never married, though he wanted to. He has no family left in the U.S. We are still trying to figure out if there are any tangible ways we can improve his situation. He doesn’t speak Chinese and no one at the hospice speaks English; I know he gets lonely and would appreciate cards and notes to send him a little cheer.”
Now, back to today: A few weeks ago, some of his cousins–who have been searching for him since the Korean War!–contacted one of our volunteers. They saw our Mail Call post about him and immediately sent a letter asking the volunteer to call them. She finally made phone contact last week and we were able to confirm that they are, in fact, Mr. Thomaschek’s second cousins. He thought all of his family was dead–his parents died decades ago and he had no siblings–but his first cousin, whom he grew up with, had spent the rest of his life searching for Mr. Thomaschek, and after his death, his adult daughters took up the cause. They are in their 60s now and were overjoyed to find him! It was quite an emotional phone call, and they went on to contact the rest of Mr. Thomaschek’s extended family, who all had the same excited reaction.