But now, after 43 years of marriage, he and his wife Judy say they made a tough choice.
“We just made the decision that he was going to stop his chemo, his cancer treatment because it was no longer working,” she said. “We got a hospice referral and decided we wanted to go somewhere warm for Christmas.”
With probably a few months to go, Hanning was hopeful that he and his wife could take the family campervan to Arizona, something the couple had always wanted to do.
“It’s quite important to go there at Christmas because we meet my wife’s brother and we would like to go before my health deteriorates too much,” Haning explains.
But the family say their vacation plans ran into a big problem on November 22.
They say that’s when someone stole their RV’s catalytic converter from the Monticello repair shop where they were waiting for new parts.
“[We] called them and told them we were going to get the camper back because we don’t want to wait for the role anymore, we want to take this trip, ”said Judy Haning. “And they told us our catalytic converter was stolen while it was in the field and they didn’t know how long it would take to fix it.”
Hernandez believes ten more converters were stolen from the same location on the same day.
“I just don’t know how someone can steal someone’s livelihood like that,” she said. “I don’t care, don’t feel guilty or worry about what he does to others. ”
Authorities say thefts of converters – an emission control device – are on the rise in the metro.
Eagan Police say they are tracking more than 250 converter thefts so far this year – more than double the 112 thefts there in 2020. St. Paul Police say six of the devices are stolen in this year. jurisdiction every day.
Experts say converters are an attractive target for thieves because their special coating contains precious metals like platinum and palladium.
Police say thieves, using a jack and a saw, can work quickly, removing converters and selling them to a junkyard for $ 500 apiece.
All of this frustrates Judy Haning.
“Apparently [the thieves] weren’t thinking about how that was going to affect the people who own these RVs, obviously, ”she notes. “It has affected our life and our plans and it will affect our Christmas. This will be Rod’s last Christmas, I’m sure.
It seemed the Hanings were stranded – except for some sort of holiday miracle.
Jim Caylor, director of Apple Valley Ford, saw some of Hernandez’s posts about the situation on social media and offered to have Haning’s camper van towed to his commercial store on Monday.
“This person from Apple Valley stepped in and realized my situation and how critical time is, and he was willing to put me at the top of his list,” Haning said.
Caylor informs 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the Monticello repair shop has offered to pay for the insurance.
He says he may need to order parts, depending on the converter model needed.
That now, maybe, there is some hope that the Hanings can make this trip after all.
“I know there are a lot of people out there, you know I still have faith in humanity,” Hernandez said. “A lot of people want to help and are able to help.”
Caylor says her father and best friend died of cancer and another friend is battling pancreatic cancer.
So he wanted to do something.
A gift of kindness and hope – for this family going through difficult times.
“It really is, because time is a gift to me right now,” Hanning says.
The family launched a crowdfunding page to help with the expenses. You can find the link here.