By Lisa Carolin
For Keegan Rodgers, owner of the Lakehouse Bakery on Sugarloaf Lake Road in Lyndon Township, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of ups and downs.
It began the week of April 7 with a migraine that landed him in the emergency room of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Chelsea. Medication helped and he returned home only to feel sluggish for the next few days.
By Wednesday, Rodger’s partner Jilly Anderson insisted he go back to the ER. Rodger’s skin was red on his arms and legs, chest and back. After completing bloodwork and an MRI of Rodger’s abdomen, doctors told him that his liver enzymes were very high.
So high that Rodger’s was asked if he had a Do-Not-Resusitate order and a will. He was told that his name had been placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant.
By the end of the week, things started to turn around for the better in part thanks to the IV infusion he’d been receiving that brought the liver enzyme count down. Rodgers was allowed to go home on Monday, April 15, and has been following up with a hepatologist and his primary care physician. He will have to monitor his liver for the next three years.
“I get tired really easily, more than I ever have in my life,” said Rodgers, who says that he has always been very healthy. “Just a short period of work wipes me out. It’s difficult because up until now I’ve been constantly working – 12 to 14 hour days were never a big deal for me.”
Rodger’s lawyer Christie Baer suggested the idea of doing a GoFundMe on Facebook.
“Why would people do that for me?” Rodgers asked. “I’m used to being the lending hand, not the one who needs help.”
In under two weeks, more than 300 people have donated more than $24,000.
“I’m unbelievably thankful for all the support we’ve received,” said Rodgers. “The staff at the Lakehouse Bakery has stepped up, Jilly included. It’s overwhelming and I’m blown away by it. It confirms something I’ve always known. People are kind. I think in large part that it’s Chelsea. Small businesses and small communities have to stick together.”
What else can people do to help the Lakehouse Bakery?
“Stop in,” says Rodgers. “The Lakehouse Bakery is six miles from downtown Chelsea. It’s a beautiful drive, just over three miles from M-52.”
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the bakery at 1534 Sugar Loaf Lake Road will feature pizza weekends on Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30-7 p.m. through Labor Day weekend.
“Stop in and keep stopping in,” said Rodgers. “Do the same with all the small local businesses. This is an amazing community. I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for the response.”