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‘Joe the Plumber,’ Ohio Native Famous for Questioning Obama, Diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer

An online fundraising campaign to support Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher and his family as he undergoes treatment for Stage 3 pancreatic cancer has now raised nearly half of its target of $50,000.

Famous for encounter with Obama in 2008

Toledo native Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher became a household name after his surprise encounter with candidate Barack Obama during a campaign stop in October of 2008. According to the Washington Examiner, Wurzelbacher had recently bought a new business and wanted to know how Obama’s tax increase for filers above the $250,000 threshold would affect his business. “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes about 250,000 to 270,000 dollars a year. Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?” he asked. Obama replied: “It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success too.”

After this chance encounter, Wurzelbacher was frequently mentioned during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Candidate John McCain was outraged by the media’s attempt to discredit Joe simply because he asked a question. During a campaign stop in New Mexico McCain said, “Does that mean Americans can’t ask tough questions? Americans have the right to ask whatever they want to ask of our politicians who seek their support.”

Tried his hand at politics

According to the GiveSendGo page, Wurselbacher spent many years traveling across America giving speeches on hard work and cutting taxes. It was during one of those speaking events that he met his current wife, Katie. They married in 2011 and have 3 young children together.

In 2012, Wurzelbacher was drafted to run against Democrat Marcy Kaptur. He lost the race in the heavy-leaning Democratic district. After giving up public life Wurzelbacher returned to life as a plumber in Toledo.

Cancer treatment has been tough

Wurzelbacher, an Air Force veteran, has been receiving treatment at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital as well as the University of Michigan Hospital. Katie explained on the GiveSendGo page: “The treatment has been a little tough so far. He deals with fatigue and weakness daily, which makes it hard for him to go to work. The oncologist has made adjustments to his chemo which has provided a little relief of the constant nausea he had after his first two treatments. Since all his issues and treatment began, he’s lost 70 pounds.”

Funds needed to support family and his father

The fundraising campaign was set up to support Joe and Katie during the time Joe is not able to work. Friends are hoping to raise funds for monthly expenses and are asking for the incredible blessing of helping secure funds and volunteer skill workers to help finish their basement for Joe’s dad who has moved in with the family and requires daily care.

Joe reacts to support

“I’m just pleasantly surprised so many people have reached out and very humbled, to be honest with you. I didn’t realize I touched so many people. The prayers are incredible, that’s what’s going to get me through this,” Wurzelbacher told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It just shows how many good people are out there that are willing to help other people. That in itself is pretty awesome.”

To date the campaign has raised $22,193 from 232 generous donors. You can donate, share the campaign and/or send up a pray for Joe here

Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher pictured with wife Katie and young children

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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