El Cajon, CA, Letter Carrier Bill Kuehling was delivering mail during a record-setting heat wave this summer, when San Diego television reporter James Koh noticed how quickly he was moving. Then the reporter noticed Kuehling’s prosthesis.
Recounting that meeting, Kuehling laughs at how the reporter rushed over and said, “You’re a much better story than the one I’m working on.” Arrangements were made to film Kuehling and he appeared on the local evening newscast.
Kuehling began his postal career 29 years ago as a custodian in La Jolla, CA. As a letter carrier in 1998, Kuehling noticed a pea-sized lump on his shin and showed it to his doctor, who said it was a fatty deposit. Months later, the lump was the size of a ping-pong ball and tender.
“On April Fools Day, I got the call that I had malignant fibrous histiocytoma,” said Kuehling.
“I laughed and hung up, thinking it was a joke.”
It wasn’t. Following radiation treatment and further medical consultations, the decision was made in 2001: Kuehling’s right leg would have to be amputated below the knee.
“My goal was to get back to carrying mail,” said Kuehling. “I love the people and seeing everyone on my route. They’re like family, too. I’ve had the same route for 25 years.”
Kuehling understands the ups and downs of working through adversity.
“At times, I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. Then I began to realize that a lot of what I was experiencing was mental,” he said. “Sure, there’s the physical challenge, but so much is about attitude. My advice: Have a good talk with the man upstairs and learn to roll with the punches. It’s not such a big deal unless you make it one.”
source: USPS News Link