Kasson couple runs food stand as tribute to mother who died from cancer
It may have been 31 years ago that Jay Lundberg lost his mother to cancer, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing something special in her honor.
Lundberg and his wife, Kristie, operated a food stand at the Dodge County Relay for Life Friday night at the fairgrounds in Kasson. And it wasn’t just any ordinary stand. The Lundbergs featured smoked beef brisket tacos with avocados.
They spent the entire day before the event smoking the beef brisket at their Kasson home. The meat consisting of two briskets totaling 20 pounds smoked for 14 hours.
Last year was the first time the Lundbergs ventured out to the relay. And it happened just by chance at the last minute. A neighbor approached them about buying a luminary for the relay. For them getting luminaries was a no-brainer, but they thought they should be doing more.
“We knew we liked to cook and knew people sell walking tacos,” Lundberg said. “We threw it together in five days. We sold out as we weren’t prepared for so many people,” he said. “Aleta (Abbott) was surprised we threw this together so fast,” he added.
They donated about $600 of proceeds from the taco stand to the relay.
Lundberg’s mother passed away from cancer in 1987 when he was 21 years old and off serving in the Marine Corp. His mother collapsed in front of the entire family on Mother’s Day 1987. She had a seizure and quickly found out she was “loaded with cancer” and only had months to live.
She lived for three months. Lundberg got a pass from the Marines to come home to be with his dying mother. She died about three weeks after he got home.
Lundberg recalls the day just as it happened yesterday. He was watching TV with his father when they heard a “big boom.” His mother fell trying to reach the bathroom. “I literally had picked my mom off the floor and put her into the car to go to the ER,” he recalls. “I physically carried her in my arms.”
He relates the cycle of life in sharing the story about his mother. “My mom carried me home from the hospital and I carried her into the hospital (where she died),” Lundberg said.
“I can’t believe how many lives it affects,” Lundberg said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Events such as Relay for Life make Lundberg think about his mother. “I feel like it is a tribute to my mom,” he said. “I’ve gone my entire adult life without a mom.”
In addition to beef brisket tacos, the Lundbergs also sold t-shirts, “No to cancer, yes to tacos.” Kristie also started a Smore bar this year as well for people to have a late night treat at the relay.
“It’s our way of doing more and raising more money instead of just buying luminaries,” Lundberg said.
The Lundbergs are already looking ahead to coming back again for next year’s relay.
“It makes me think more of my mom,” he said.