Sandwich, IL

New doctor joins local practice

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SANDWICH — Sometimes, you find when you give to the community unselfishly, the community won’t hesitate to return the favor.

Optometrist Karl Csiszer has learned that, not only about Sandwich, but also about his family, his church and his fellow eye doctors. Diagnosed earlier this year with malignant pancreatic cancer, Csiszer took time off work for surgery and is undergoing chemotherapy.

“Like everyone else, I have my good days and my bad days, but I’m functioning, I’m seeing patients,” he said.

During the weeks recovering from surgery, he was unable to work. Six other doctors stepped up to see patients and keep his practice afloat. And Csiszer credits his staff of four with doing a great job.

Although many would be hesitant to discuss such a serious health issue, Csiszer said most of his patients, friends and family already know about it. “I’ve had a lot of my patients praying for me, sending cards, e-mails, giving advice and just a lot of positive energy.”

With a smile, Csiszer said he believes the power of positive thinking shouldn’t be underestimated.

He said although the chemotherapy has not diminished the size of the tumor, it hasn’t grown either. Csiszer said the goal is to shrink or kill the tumor so it can be removed. He said the next step will be radiation treatment.

The Plano native has been in practice in Sandwich for 35 years and hopes continue for a few more years. “It helps to continue working. I look forward to coming in and seeing patients,” he said.

Csiszer said he has learned to enjoy life more every day, and because his future is uncertain, he has taken on another doctor in his practice.

Recent graduate

Dr. Michael Menconi joined Csiszer’s practice at the Eyecare Center on July 9. A recent graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry, the 42-year-old Menconi found his passion for eyes during a mission trip to Honduras.

He related the story of a Honduran farmer who hadn’t seen his own feet for years. “How can you be a farmer and not even see that far?” he asked, incredulously.

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