BJ Lipke

A Local Cortezian / AMI Friend Needs Your Help, NOW

Our dear friend, Rose Lipke shares the story about her brother BJ. Your help is greatly needed.

Imagine yourself if you will, leaving work like you always do. It’s a typical Monday of a typical week. Perhaps you’re thinking about what you’ll cook for dinner or that you have to stop at the store for a few things on the way home. Maybe you’re just decompressing from the workday by listening to your favorite radio station.

Then WHAM!

The next thing you know your vehicle is up on its passenger’s side and people are trying to free you from the wreckage. At the ER, the docs inform you that you didn’t sustain any injuries from the accident. You breathe a sigh of relief, ready to put this awful Monday in the rear-view mirror.


The CT Scan showed a mass on your lung. It also showed some areas of concern in your brain. Could be masses, could be tumors, could be bleeding…more testing is required to know for sure. That moment of relief was certainly fleeting.

Fast forward less than 24 hours. You’re dealt a diagnosis that feels like a punch to your gut and sucks all the oxygen from the room. Lung cancer. Lung cancer that has spread to the brain. Stage 4.


Stage 4.

The word lingers in the air. How does it feel?

This is exactly what happened to BJ Lipke just a few weeks ago. BJ is a lifelong resident of Cortez and Anna Maria Island. If you’ve been here long enough, you may have gone to school with him in the 70’s. You may know him from the days of Fast Eddie’s, Turtle’s, and the High Seas in the 80’s. More recently he may have served you cocktails at the Cortez Kitchen or The Clam Factory. He may have even been your handyman at some point. He has been a part of the fabric of this community for over 60 years.

He has started radiation treatment to shrink the tumors in his brain. He will begin chemotherapy within a few weeks. He is unable to work and has been stripped of his ability to drive because of the brain tumor diagnosis. He is currently uninsured although assistance has been applied for. He has worked hard for us, been our favorite neighborhood bartender, always freely giving smiles, jokes and laughs. Most importantly he has been our friend. He is an amazing father but to me, he’s my big brother.

Please donate if you can to help ease the burden of this most difficult time.

If nothing else, I implore you…   Don’t take one moment of this beautiful life for granted. The wolf is always at the door.

Please donate via GoFundMeHERE

Photos from Rose Lipke

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