For years, a Red Deer man hasn’t let his terminal cancer diagnosis stop him from spreading Halloween spirit.
Since buying their home in the Lonsdale neighbourhood in 2009, Jason Kom-tong and his wife Bambi have been creating a small haunted house for Halloween every year.
“Ever since my wife and I got married, we have been decorating for Halloween, and as our love for the holiday grew, so did our collection of decorations and our displays,” Kom-tong said Friday.
“Every year we change out our theme and this year it’s scary carnival clowns. We keep doing it because our whole family gets into it together. We love seeing people of all ages laughing and having fun.”
The married couple has two children, 13-year-old Zack and 11-year-old Kisenya.
In 2013, Kom-tong was diagnosed with Stage 4 tongue cancer. In October 2014, doctors told him he had three months to live.
After undergoing an experimental trial, he is back to what he describes as “a pretty normal life,” with the exception of the loss of his tongue.
He wrote a book called The Dangerous Mind of a Dying Man, which was published this week, detailing his journey. The Red Deer man wrote it to pass on the lessons he learned during his life when facing the realities of dying, the book’s synopsis explains.
“I couldn’t tell you how many hours we typically put into decorating for Halloween, but this year I know we’ve put in at least three times more effort than usual,” Kom-tong said, adding he’s hoping for a great turnout.
“Because of COVID, I’ve had a lot of extra time to put towards our display. This year will be our best show ever. Also with each donation, you can suggest the theme for next year.”
The winning suggestion will be revealed the day after Halloween.
The haunted house, located at 68 Lanterman Cl., will be open from 5-11 p.m. on Halloween this Sunday. People with young children are encouraged to come earlier in the day because the atmosphere may be too frightening for them during the night.