The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Business

January 12, 2014

For optimistic Zierdt, the fight is on

GMG president dealing with cancer diagnosis

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And while it may seem strange, Zierdt said he's not dreading the hand life has dealt him.

“What a gift I've been given,” he said.

Because of what's happening to him, the community has embraced him. Well wishers are filling the guestbook on his Caring Bridge site.

Richard and Mary Davenport wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you and we're wishing you all the best. Your attitude and spirit are certain to transcend the challenges ahead.”

David and Carole Lundquist wrote, “Carole and I wish both of you the best in 2014. We continue to be inspired with both of you as you continue this journey with Jonathan. We have you in our thoughts and prayers.”

Barb Embacher wrote, “I'm sending you my prayers every day. I know that you are strong and God is stronger. Enjoy the peace of the Christmas season and many more sunsets.”

“This is one of the times in my life that I've felt the most blessed,” Zierdt said. “I've gotten the chance to see how people really feel about me.”

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Zierdt knows he's a public figure in this community. As the president and CEO of GMG, he's one of the community's biggest boosters. He's also in the news a lot.

As a public figure, Zierdt said he's in a unique position to try to help other men. He's hoping his experience can be a wake-up call for other men who may not be as vigilant when it comes to their health.

Zierdt is 47, in great physical shape and you won't find many people with more energy or a more positive attitude. If cancer can happen to him, he said, it can happen to anyone. In the coming weeks, The Free Press will follow Zierdt's progress.

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