For years, he was a regular on KSFY Morning News, Sioux Falls florist Pat Gustaf is well-known and well-liked in the community. But in recent years, Pat has battled some health problems: a type of cancer that has targeted his kidneys.
He's bouncing back, though, and on this Valentine's Day, he was back to work, making floral arrangements on one of his busiest days of the year.
"It's our #3 holiday. We're lucky enough to have consistent clientele that loves our stuff and we love working for them. I think that speaks volumes for who we are as a florist. We want to make it very personal. It's a personal business. It's going to be chaotic, but a controlled chaotic. Valentine's Day is one of those times we get to shine, we make new innovations. Not everyone wants it to be the same every year," Pat Gustaf said.
"A year ago, they were telling me to make peace with everyone. I was having seizures on a regular basis. Kidney cancer. This August, it'll be two years. They took my left kidney because it had a mass of a grapefruit size on it. If we can keep it at stage-three, people live a long time with one kidney."
"Wherever he went, I went," Pat's sister Jean Gustaf said. "He hasn't been here for 8-9 months. He's coming half days."
"I've been through chemo. I know what he's going through," Jean said. "When he has to rest, he rests. When he's too sick, he doesn't come in. You can't take away everything that you lived for, that you do. You kind of give up. We have a little brother that died of cancer so it kind of runs in the family."
"The silver linings may be small but there are other silver linings that are amazing. I wouldn't be able to have them without the journey of this kidney failure. I'm thrilled to be where I'm at, doing what I do with the people that are around me."