Color For A Cause: Leukemia

Posted by Stephanie Moyer on September 29, 2023


September 10th, 2011 was a day I will always remember. A horrible disease named Acute Myelogenous Leukemia took the life of my grandfather, Larry G Fries. To me he was the strongest man due to his large muscles, large hands, and the strength he showed as he worked so hard to grow and build up his own construction company, Fries Construction. As a little girl, Grandpa would let me come to construction sites and watch as he built a home from the ground up in what I thought would take a day. He was a man of great strength and knowledge. He was very well known in Mercer County. He had built condos along side Grand Lake St. Mary’s, multiple churches and was even able build dream homes for so many families in the area.

Grandpa- WeddingOn a corner in Celina, sits a home that he built from the ground up. The property was once a junk yard, but Grandpa had a vision to make it his family’s dream home. Today, if you drive by the property, you will see the embodiment of Grandpa's hard work - a large brown home with shutters where my grandmother still resides. Grandpa was also very passionate about God and his ministry. So what did he do? Around the corner, he build a church from the ground up. He imagined a building where people could come and experience the goodness of God. Today, that church, The Anchor Church, still stands and is living out the vision that he set forth.

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow and mainly effects adults. AML is characterized by the excessive growth of immature blood forming cells in the bone marrow. It is a rapidly advancing cancer.

Larry was diagnosed in January of 2011 and passed away the following September.

How It Started



Honoring Grandpa

Larry G Fries Obituary

How It Started

Grandpa had a dog, Tobe. He loved his dog. One day Tobe bit Grandpa on the finger. This was very odd because Tobe was a wonderful dog and had never bitten anyone. The bite wouldn’t heal, so my grandfather went to the doctor to make sure his finger wasn’t affected. The doctor gave him some cream and sent him on his way. Weeks went by and his finger never healed. It bruised, bled, and continued to cause pain. Larry noticed that he wasn’t healing as fast as he normally had. He was beginning to experience weakness, stomach issues and couldn’t do daily tasks he once did with ease. He also began experiencing nose bleeds almost daily. 

Common signs of AML:

  • Fever and chills

  • Extreme tiredness and weakness

  • Unexplained weight Loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Pain in the bones and joints

  • Pain in the abdomen

  • Headaches

  • Sweating at night

  • Small red spots on the skin

  • Nose Bleeds, easy bleeding and bruising

  • Frequent infections and illnesses

At this point the doctor felt he needed to investigate and noticed he had almost all the symptoms of this horrible disease AML. They started with the normal routine test such as blood draw and then he had to go through a very painful procedure, Bone Marrow Cancer Test.

Bone Marrow Cancer Test

A Bone Marrow Cancer Test is where medical professionals put a needle through your skin and into your bone. Then, using a syringe, they draw out liquid bone marrow. The patient may feel a pulling sensation as they do this. For a biopsy, which my grandfather had to experience, the doctor uses a slightly bigger needle to take the sample of bone marrow.

Grandpa often said that this was the worst part of it all. Below is a picture of my grandfather smiling as he recovers from the procedure. You will also be able to notice his finger that was bitten. Still bruised and swollen.

Grandpa 1

DiagnosisGrandpa & Grandma

The diagnosis was not good. Life expectancy in an elderly man between the ages of 60-69 is 15%. Grandpa was 67. The doctor let us know that we may have one year with my grandfather. To my grandmother, this was saying you possibly will have 12 months to experience life with man she has been married to for 42 years. To break that down, its 52 weeks - 365 days -8,760 hours to share with the man we always believed was incapable of being kept down. It was hard to fathom he wouldn't be present for every special occasion and holiday, or that he would miss the birth of his first great grandchild who was born a month after his passing.  

I remember Grandpa putting his hand on my belly feeling my son move. Grandpa would look at me with a smile and give me instructions on how to take care of his grandchild, to tell him about who he was, and the legacy that he would inherit.


According to the American Cancer Society, the main treatment for most types of AML is chemotherapy, sometimes along with a targeted therapy drug. This might be followed by a stem cell transplant. Other drugs (besides standard chemotherapy drugs) may be used to treat people with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Surgery and radiation therapy are not major treatments for AML, but they may be used in special circumstances.

As my grandpa's treatments started, his hair began to fall out and he experienced rapid weight loss. Soon he was almost unrecognizable. Still, my grandfather had a smile on his face.Grandpa 6

St. Rita Hospital in Lima, OH was WONDERFUL. My grandfather made so many friends during his stay at St. Rita’s. Our family can’t thank St. Rita’s enough for all they have done. The nurses, doctors, and staff were beyond amazing. They made us feel that everything was going to be ok. Grandpa would walk through the halls asking if anyone needed prayer. You see, he was a Pastor for over 30-years, so he was doing what he knew to do best. He read the Bible and laughed with people even when he was hurting and aching. He never let his smile be taken from him. Like I said, He was the strongest man I have known. Strength doesn’t come from the way you look or your physical ability, it comes from within. Grandpa taught me that someone out in the world has it worse than you which means it’s our job to make everyone around us as happy as we can, just in case we come across that one individual. He said, “this is your chance to let your light shine for the Lord”.


Honoring Grandpa

Nine months from the day Grandpa was diagnosed, he took his last breath. We had to face the fact that this horrible disease, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, took someone we love and cherish very much.Grandpa 4

Regardless of how much time my grandfather spent taking care of himself, it's hard to fight against a disease as potent as Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. You can put up a strong fight, but it has a way of winning. It’s a horrible, heartbreaking cancer. However, no matter how horrible AML is, there are still ways to help survivors across the world.

As a family we came together and agreed we were going to give back. We knew hundreds or even thousands of people in the world would one day face what he had faced, but we also believe in healing and had hope that we could make a difference. After talking to nurses and doctors, we found that donating plasma is a great way to give back. Most blood and plasma donations are used to help patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.

Donating Plasma

In a plasma -only donation, the liquid portion of the donor’s blood is separated from the cells. Blood is drawn from one arm and sent through a high-tech machine that collects the plasma. The donor’s red blood cells and platelets are then returned to the donor along with some saline. Source

How Does Donating Plasma Help Leukemia?

Plasma donations ensure that these individuals can receive a plasma transfusion to supplement their body’s clotting ability and stop excessive bleeding from occurring. Finally, children and adults with cancer sometimes experience complications in which their body has used up all their natural clotting factors. Souce

My grandfather received plasma almost daily during his journey. What better way to give back than to donate? If you are interested in helping someone in need, I encourage you to visit, The Process for Giving Plasma, Step-by-Step | Giving = Living ( Educate yourself on the process first, then take the step to donate.

You can donate at Bio Life Plasma Services New Donors | BioLife Plasma Services. Since plasma is so highly needed, Bio Life will pay you to donate. It’s a win win.


I hope this sheds light on the families that are dealing with this disease. I'm grateful that we can donate a month to this cause. I’m grateful for the orange ribbon that has been dedicated to cancer. I would like to thank each person who took time to read this blog. I know its long, but I’m grateful and honored, to write about a man that has impacted my life in so many ways. He continues to impact my family, even when he is not with us.

Written in honor of Larry Gale Fries.

Giving Back

In support of this month's Color for a Cause, Osgood Bank has made a contribution to the Cancer Association of Mercer County. According to CAMC, "The Cancer Association of Mercer County (CAMC) local and independent with a Mercer County Board. CAMC was created solely for the purpose of helping cancer patients of Mercer County, Ohio survive their disease physically, emotionally and financially."


Larry G Fries ObituaryGrandpa 7

Rev. Larry, 67, E Livingston St, Celina, died at 2:50 a.m., at St. Rita's Medical Center.

He was a son to Charles Frederick Fries Sr. and Jane (Kiser) Fries Campbell. His stepfather, Donald L. Campbell, survives in rural Rockford. On Oct 3, 1969, he married Mary Kay Gingrich, who survives.

Also surviving are a son, Larry Lamont (Erin) Shannon, Shakopee, MN; two daughters, Shawn Mescheal (Rev. Simon) Young, Piqua, and Melissa Gail (Mark) Williams, Van Wert; three brothers, Charles F. Jr. (Sharon), Piqua, Rev. Robert L. (Phyllis), Sidney, and Rev. Gregory M. (Patricia), Fort Wayne, IN; a sister, Sharon R. (Gary) Arnold, International Falls, MN; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had been stationed at Lackland AFB, Texas. He was a member of the United Pentecostal Church International. As minister, he founded and built the New Life Apostolic Church in Celina in 1979 and served there until his death. He also was a carpenter and worked many years in the construction industry. He helped with building the Apostolic churches in Wabash and Fort Wayne, Ind., Piqua, Sidney and, Troy. He served four years as a traveling evangelist for the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ across the nation, in Jamaica, and the Bahamas.

Topics: News & Updates, Color For A Cause, Give Back

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