The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Marc Wolfgram – RIP

Some of us never get a chance to meet the people who have made a difference in our lives.  I never had the pleasure of meeting Marc in person, however I did correspond with him through email on several occassions.  For those of you who read this blog who have never had Esophageal Cancer or been a caregiver to someone with EC you would not have a reason to know Marc.  But you see, if it were not for Marc I am not sure where I would be today.

Marc and his wife Tammy are the owner’s of a website called Cathy’s EC Cafe.  I found the Cafe on the night I was diagnosed with EC.  It was on page 26 of my google search and when I clicked on the link and went through the site I knew in my heart that no matter what happened to me I was not ALONE.

Prior to finding Cafe I had seen the stats, I had read about the awful fate I had been handed and if I wasn’t scared before I was now.  In finding the Cafe and in turn joining the ACOR ECG Listserve (another or Marc’s “babies”) I found a place where, although I was still scared, I didn’t have to be scared alone.  Everyone there had been there, done that and most of them had the scars to prove it!

Not too long ago a member of the ECG List thought that perhaps she should leave as her husband who had EC had passed away. I replied to her email (as below) and when Marc read it he asked for my permission to post it at at Cathy’s Cafe.  Of course I agreed…

This was my reply:

For M— and anyone else who wonders if staying on the list does any good.

I found this list the night was I was diagnosed, through Cathy’s EC Cafe. Within 24 hours of posting my story I had emails from all over the world telling me that I too could beat the beast. One of those emails was from Jane Pickett, our 35 year survivor. Some of those who emailed me are no longer with us and that makes me sad. That was almost 5 years ago.

I couldn’t imagine my life without this list. I have laughed with all of you and cried with all of you. You make me smile, you make me laugh and someday you make me downright angry but I still come back, day after day. Some days, this is home more than my physical home is.

We all have something to contribute – whether it is good, bad or indifferent.

The friends I have made from this list will always be my friends which is a little strange considering that for the most part I wouldn’t know you from Adam walking down the street. Those of you I have had the honor of meeting will forever be ingrained, not only in my head but also my heart.

As most will admit, this is not a group anyone wants to join, but once in, always in.

For me, leaving would be like cutting of a limb and sorry folks, but I have lost enough body parts to this disease as it is, I refuse to give up anymore. Perhaps it is the comfort of knowing that everyone here has been there, done that and won’t think that my questions and or suggestions are totally whacked! (Just a little bit, because, hey, it is me after all LOL).

So M—, don’t ever think that you are not helping someone because somewhere out there, someone will sleep a little better tonight, eat a little better tomorrow, and feel a whole lot better due to you!!!


In a nutshell, that is what Marc did for me, he gave me a home, he gave me a family and he did this all “just because”.

Since surviving EC I have tried to be a better person- sometimes I am and sometimes I fail miserably but I still try and I know that if Marc had not given of himself the way he did, I would have given up long ago.

To his wife Tammy and his 3 beautiful daughters, you have my most heartfelt condolences.  I cannot imagine how sad and lost you must feel right now, but please know in your hearts that there are many of us who consider Marc an awesome human being and know that there is a special place in heaven for him and that he is there now.  I know you will all miss him terribly and so will I.

Marc Wolfgram - RIP


Marc W. Wolfgram

Marc W. Wolfgram of Hartland, died tragically on Monday, February 15, 2010 as the result of an automobile accident at the age of 55 years. Marc worked at GE Med Systems in Pewaukee, Eaton Corp. in Milwaukee and Rennaissance Learning in Wisconsin Rapids. Eventually, he was able to follow his dream and started his own computer business MacCetera. Marc was a consummate computer geek and Mac guru for all his customers, family and friends.

After conquering esophageal cancer in 1995, Marc devoted much of his time to running an online esophageal cancer support group and maintaining Cathy’s EC Cafe web site, to help others in their battles with esophageal cancer. Marc was an incredibly kind and giving person, with an ever-present sense of humor. He was a friend to everyone and earned people’s respect wherever he went.

He is survived by his wife of 26 years Tammara (nee Hoffman), his daughters Jennifer (Brian) Jambretz, Gwendolyn (Scott) Tracy and Megan Wolfgram, his grandchildren Breanna and Brian Jambretz Jr. and Kieran Tracy and his parents Gordon and Ruth (nee Fitch) Wolfgram. He is further survived by his brother Paul (Rachel) Wolfgram, nephew Michael Wolfgram, in-laws Harold and Patricia Hoffman, other relatives and many friends.

Friends may call at the Lake Country Unitarian Universalist Church, W299 N5595 Grace Drive, Hartland, WI on Friday, February 19, 2010 from 3:30 PM until Services at 6:30 PM. There will be refreshments following the Service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy or the charity of your choice.


Cathy’s EC Cafe

ECG Listserve


6 responses to “Marc Wolfgram – RIP

  1. Jerry Taylor February 28, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Looking at a calendar, I realized that I’ve known Marc for 44 years. We met when his family moved to Franklin, wi when both him and I were in the 6th grade. We remained best friends for 44 years. He stood up in my wedding. I found out about Marc’s passing a week ago, and ever since, I’ve realized that something is missing inside of me. I miss Marc so much, I don’t think it will ever heal. I express my heartfelt condolences to Tammy,Jenny, Gwen, Megan, along with Marc & Tammy’s parents, his brother Paul and his family.

  2. serendopeity February 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Jerry

    I am sorry for your loss too. To lose a close friend is one of life’s most horrible things, I know.
    Marc was an amazing man and will never be forgotten by many of us who he helped on our EC journey. May he rest in peace knowing that.
    Thank you for visiting serendopeity.


  3. Megan Wolfgram April 25, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Hello Nancy, I’m not sure what brought me to your page, but I’m glad I found it. As a child I was really too young to understand what my father was going through during his years of treatment. The main thing that stuck in my mind was that both he and my mother missed TWO of my birthdays! Luckily for them I was a forgiving child. Anyways, my parents never lied to me about his illness, so it wasn’t until I got a little older, however, after he was better of course, that I understood how serious EC really was, and how lucky he was. 15 years. I say that with an odd sense of pride, MY father kicked EC’s assed and he kicked it hard. But, I also say it with a strong bitterness, because after 15 years of survival, he dies because of a slippery road. It’s said when you lose someone you go through different stages, sadness, depression, anger, etc. And though I have experienced some of the emotions from some of these stages and believe I will experience them all one day, I don’t think there’s anyway to prepare for it.
    I glad both of my parents were able to help you during your hard times. If there is one thing that I know will make me feel a least a little better, it’s thinking about all of the people who were like you. Who discovered Cathy’s EC Cafe and realized that they weren’t alone. I thank you for your post and your kind words. And I’d like to thank you as well Jerry.
    Lastly, the most important thing to remember is he will always live on in our hearts.

  4. Marny Fischer August 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

    August 3, 2010 … and Marc isn’t around, except in my memories and his and Tammy’s gentleness toward me. Yes, I miss Marc and my heart feels Tammy’s heart.

    Continuing condolences to Tammy and their family and friends.

    Gentle as you go,
    widow of beloved Dale – 10/3/45 – 2/12/01

  5. Nat Zettel March 15, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Nancy,
    I found your page thru a search for Marc. Hard to believe it’s over a year since we lost him. Knowing how he has helped so many by simply sharing his talents, his story, his often unique sense of humor – helps reinforce that the good that he did continues on in all who encountered him. There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t think of him, and miss him dearly. One of my favorite quotes from Marc: “Never pretend that you know what you’re doing.”
    Thank you for your post about him, and for sharing part of your story.
    – Nat

  6. Tammy Wolfgram April 5, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Nancy, I never thanked you for this tribute to Marc. He thought highly of you, as do I. I keep this page bookmarked and visit from time to time. I generally shed a few tears each time I visit. It’s been over four years since he died, and we all still miss him so much. One thing that always comforts me is how many people considered him their friend, and that was almost everyone he met or talked with. Thanks again for this page, as it’s a wonderful remembrance of Marc.

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