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The Traveling Ren Fest

A homebound St. Paul man’s dream came true as the Minnesota Renaissance Festival scaled down and took the festivities to his home according to the Pioneer Press.

The 65-year-old had attended the festival every year for over 30 years until bone marrow cancer struck in March 2007.

Frank Tunison has battled the odds of survival with aggressive chemotherapy, drugs, holistic treatment. When his son returned from serving in Iraq in March 2007 the doctors told him his father had about 60 days left. A year and a half later, Tunison has beat science predictions, which means that he has missed the Renaissance Festival for two years in a row, which is very disappointing for man who “went religiously, every year, sometimes a couple times,? Tunison’s son said.

So, his daughter decided to make a phone call. She talked to the entertainment festival manager, Anita Kelling, who said responded to her story of her father with warmth.

“It’s something that really tugged at my heartstrings,? Kelling said. “I've had a number of performers who had family members that passed away from cancer. Those people were the first to volunteer.?

In fact, Anjila Olsen, a historical cook for the festival and who is in remission from ovarian cancer, was the first to respond the email from the festival listserv about Tunison’s situation. She offered to cook a meal.

Other performers jumped on board, too, including jugglers, fire and belly dancers, and musicians. Soon on Thursday evening the group assembled and set up out outside of Tunison’s home on the 500 block of Manomin Avenue. His daughter told him that she was organizing an Avon sales meeting to disguise the commotion outside.

Tunison was soon led outside by his wife. Amazed at what he witnessed he found out what his daughter had really been doing.

The festival bought a smile to his face which is amazing since, “You don’t see him smile very often,? longtime neighbor Richard Sorenson said.