Naturally, article assignments for REPTILES are made months prior to their publication, and I am not often in constant contact with an author between the time I assign an article and when I check back later to see how it’s coming along. So imagine my shock when I checked in with Rico Walder to follow up on this issue’s green tree python article, only to discover that he had just been diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. When I found out, Rico had just undergone surgery to have one of two tumors removed from his brain. He came through the surgery OK and was about to head home. The consummate professional, even with all he had been going through, Rico’s article was turned in on time. You can read it on page 34.
Rico owns Signal Herpetoculture in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he specializes in green tree pythons and emerald tree boas. To quote him: "My plan is to fight this disease as hard as I can and beat it if at all possible. There is a long road ahead, but I'm up for the challenge.” Part of Rico’s challenge will be mounting medical bills, and fundraising efforts are underway to help with them. If you’ve ever enjoyed Rico’s articles in this magazine, chatted with him at a reptile expo, purchased animals from him, or simply want to help out a nice guy who, like you, loves reptiles, please make a donation by visiting the website listed below. Thank you.
Visit www.giveforward.com/ricoreliefeffort to help Rico!