In late summer of 2020, Rod Cushman, co-owner of Liberty Electric, was blind-sided when a trip to the dentist for what he thought was an impacted tooth turned into CAT Scans, PET Scans, ultrasounds and ultimately a diagnosis of an aggressive cancer of unknown origin.
Several weeks later, Rod found himself in Cleveland Clinic for a 10-hour surgery and a 7-day stay. Since then, Rod has endured immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation and a multitude of stays at Cleveland Clinic.
After Rod’s diagnosis, medical bills began piling up and Rod’s beloved work family at Liberty Electric sprang into action to help one of their own. On November 20, 2020, with careful coordination between the Liberty Electric team and Jarod’s girlfriend, Morgan, a walk-thru raffle and takeout spaghetti dinner was held at Greenford Lutheran Church in Salem, Ohio.
The event was well-attended and well-supported by friends, community members and Rod’s union family at IBEW Local 64 and the Youngstown and Warren LMCCs. The benefit received support from IBEW Locals from all over the state – a testament to IBEW’s commitment to care for their union brothers and sisters.
A jolt of support from family and union brotherhood
Rod completed his apprenticeship in 2002 and went on to start Liberty Electric with Joe Hall and Mark Suszczynski in 2003. His son, Jarod, a 3rd year apprentice at Liberty Electric is following in his footsteps. Rod and his wife, Theresa, have six children: Jarod, Marissa, Rodney, Adam, and Matthew; and Jacob who tragically passed in November of 2019.
“In our brotherhood, we celebrate the good times with our members and come together to support each other in our most challenging moments. Rod is no exception, and we send positive thoughts to him and his family for comfort and recovery,” said Jim Burgham, business manager at IBEW Local 64 in Youngstown.
Cushman continues his fight
Rod’s condition continues to be serious, but is improving with treatment. The team at Liberty Electric misses him immensely and are cheering him on to a smooth recovery and return to work. Office manager Sandy Smith describes Rod as brilliant and kind.
“He’s the kind of guy you can send out on a service call and customers will call in to commend his work having no idea he’s the owner,” Smith said.
How we all can help
As Rod has been unable to work since his diagnosis, help is needed for medical and travel expenses. Those wishing to support Rod and his family as he continues to fight may do so via the Rod Cushman Cancer Fund at GiveSendGo.com.