'Right now, as sick as he is, if we needed anything: we could go to him'
ALBANY, Ore. – Dozens of postal carriers took a break from delivering mail to deliver a very special message Tuesday to a fellow mailman who is battling cancer.
Longtime Albany mailman Mike Nessen, also known as Trapper, is battling pancreatic cancer.
His friends and family said he doesn't have much more time to live.
Mail truck after mail truck conducted a double processional around his house on Jefferson Street on Tuesday.
Each driver held out handmade signs expressing their love for Trapper as they called out to him out of their window.
Trapper sat in a chair on his lawn with family members.
He knew he was in for a surprise, but said he was overwhelmed and speechless when he found out what was going on.
“This is not out of the ordinary for the post office. This is family. They will do anything for you,” said Trapper.
The Albany letter carriers used their lunch break to do the processional.
A Year to Live
Trapper’s friends and family said his battle with pancreatic cancer is near the end.
Wednesday marks one year since doctors told Trapper he had one year to live.
"He's really struggling right now," said Joseph Passenant, Albany Post Office letter carrier. "I’m his personal letter carrier, and I’ve seen him progress worse and worse with his condition. But knowing that he was able to stand up, and hug people and talk to you, told me and showed me that, it gave him the uplifting spirit. It gave him the energy, and to me that meant a lot.”
A Life to Celebrate
Trapper has had a long career at the Albany Post Office.
He is a Marine veteran.
And clearly, he's had an impact on many people.
"I’m not sure how I would describe all these feelings. I mean all these people here, they all need hugs. That's for sure,” said Trapper.
"I cannot believe it. I cannot believe it. I don't have the words! All blue ribbons, purple ribbons. I don't have the words,” said Trapper as he hugged several of his friends from the Albany Post Office.
"He's just been there for us. Anything you would want. Right now, as sick as he is, if we needed anything, we could go to him,” said Debbie Meyers, Albany letter carrier and president of the local union.
“Everybody wants to thank you so much. For everything you've ever done. For everything,” said the crowd of friends surrounding Trapper on his front lawn.
"In my personal opinion I don't deserve it. It's just something that we would normally do collectively as a postal unit,” said Trapper, holding back tears.
The Albany Postal Unit reminded Trapper that his life was one worth celebrating.
“Hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray!” cheered the crowd.