Bangor area ice cream truck driver battles cancer | News
BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Bill McLaughlin doesn't know how much longer he'll be behind the wheel of the Good Humor Ice Cream truck he's been driving throughout the Bangor area for 20 years.
"I take very, very little serious," said McLaughlin. "You can't. I may go to sleep tonight and not be here tomorrow."
It's the reality of living with small cell cancer.
Diagnosed in February of 2011, his cancer started on his lungs and has now moved to his liver.
"But when I get on my truck, it's like you have to let a feeling come over you, and you have to get in the right perspective," he said.
"If you're not laughing and joking and having fun, no one's going to come to your truck."
Despite receiving chemotherpay three times a week, McLaughlin tries to drive the ice cream truck as much as he can.
He used to drive the routes seven days a week in the summer, but now, it's just once in a while.
He's been getting help from other drivers, and his wife has taken over the business, but it's getting harder to make ends meet as his health and business slows.
"There's no small cell drives, there's no walks, so you don't have that advantage," he said.
"And I think that's because we die so quick."
Small cell cancer is one of the most difficult forms to survive.
McLaughlin said his doctors have given him a 20 percent chance of beating the disease.
And yet -- he's still smiling.
"I'm the ice cream man. I'm Santa Claus. You got to keep a positive attitude. If you don't, it's going to beat you quicker."
To help with incidental costs, McLaughlin's wife has distributed donation canisters througout the Bangor area at:
- Cowan's Store, South Main Street, Brewer
- Tozier's Market, South Main Street, Brewer
- Bangor-Brewer Lanes, Brewer
- Pat's Pizza, Hampden
- Pat's Pizza, Orono
- Margarita's, Orono
- Mt. Hope Variety, Bangor
- Pizza Oven, Ohio Street, Bangor
- McLaughlin's Sea Food, Bangor
- Angelo's, Hammond Street, Bangor
- Family Fun Lanes, Outer Hammond Street, Bangor
- Kev-Lan, Broadway, Bangor
- Blackbeard's, Odlin Road, Bangor