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Steve Ehlers
Updated On: Aug 20, 2010

“Knowing that all of the forms were done correctly really eased my mind before the surgery.”

Ehlers has since recovered and is now cancer-free. “I still feel a bit weaker than I did before the surgery, but I’m back at work and back to riding my bikes,” he said.

In his spare time, Ehlers is a motorcycle enthusiast. “I’ve been riding since I was 14 and own three bikes,” Ehlers said. “I have a BMW, a Harley and a Suzuki.

I love to ride both on-road and off-road.” His off-road riding helps him with his other leisure time pursuit >geo-caching, a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The idea is to locate hidden containers, called geo-caches, outdoors and then share experiences online.

“We go all over the countryside looking for them,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun and I can use my off-road riding skills to go to remote locations.” When he isn’t riding his bikes or hunting for geocaches, Ehlers and his wife, Connie, who is also a Union member and works for Shasta County, visit with Ehlers’ two adult children and seven grandchildren.

“I like to stay active and that’s why I’m still working,” Ehlers said. “But I’m seriously thinking about retirement. “Being a Union member pays off in many ways.”

Riding to the Rescue

After his cancer diagnosis, meat cutter and motorcycle enthusiast

Steve Ehlers was ‘blown away’ by assistance from UFCW 8

When Steve Ehlers, a meat cutter at the Raley’s store on Lake Boulevard in Redding, heard he had a large cancerous tumor on his kidney, he knew his Union-negotiated health benefits would cover the costs of his care.

What he didn’t know was how to deal with the paperwork. “Whenever you get a diagnosis of cancer, it kind of leaves you numb,” Ehlers said. “You worry about your family, whether or not you’re going to survive and what you have to do after the surgery.

The last thing you need to worry about is filling out forms and dealing with paperwork.” Ehlers called his District Union Representative, Loel Yerion, for help. “I didn’t really know him well, but he was terrific,” Ehlers said. “He always returned my calls and spent a lot of time with me on the phone

helping me wade through the insurance papers. “But I still wasn’t sure I did everything right. When I mentioned my concerns to Loel, he said he would drive up to my home and walk me through it to make sure I did what I had to do.” Ehlers said he was “blown away” by that kind of personal service.

“I’ve been a member of this Union since 1963 when I started as a “cleanup boy” for Lucky,” Ehlers said. “I know the Union is there for us when we have problems on the job, and we have benefits that can’t be beat. But I never expected this kind of personal service.


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