Brooklyn Park Community Rallies Around Jim Wagner
Brooklyn Park businessman Jim Wagner is known for his charity work. Now friends and strangers are rallying around Wagner as he fights a very complicated, life-threatening disease.
Every Monday night, the Wag-niters Car Club rolls to Wagner’s Drive-in with vintage hot rods and classic cars. Members come for the camaraderie and of course, to talk cars. They also circle the owner of Wagner’s drive-in, Jim Wagner.
The restaurant owner is in the fight for his life, battling stage four skin cancer. He’s faced medical hardships before. Twenty-four years ago he had a kidney and pancreas transplant. Chemo and radiation are taking a toll on his body.
“They took the lymph nodes, as you can see, out of my neck,” said Wagner. “There’s scaring on my head.”
The treatments make it difficult to keep up with the heavy demand for running a restaurant. He’s closed the Brooklyn Park location on Sundays because he can’t work 7 days a week.
But, Wagner is finding there’s something much stronger than cancer he’s fighting– the power of friendship.
“It hurts. You can’t help him. You can’t fix it,” said long-time friend Bob Malarkey. “All you can do is just make everything around him easier.”
Friends Organize Benefit for Jim Wagner
Wagner’s buddies are trying to take the burden off of him as much as they can. His friends have planned a big benefit for Wagner. The event will be held on October 27th, at the Palmer Lake VFW in Brooklyn Park, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Wagner is humbled and grateful.
“I’ve been blessed every which way from Sunday because of the friends I have,” said Wagner. “I do feel like I’m going to kick this cancer.”