Koshkin"
Rotarian Kenny Higginbotham (left) with special guest Vekoslav Koshkin
<
Vekoslav Koshkin

Putnam welcomes student visitor

Marshall / Koshkin
Papa Chet with Veko
10 years ago

September 18, 2012

Ten years ago, Chet Marshall was conducting a church camp near Volzhsky, a town in Russia's Volgograd Oblast, where he met Vekoslav Koshkin, the son of a worker in the camp. "Their room was right across from mine," says Marshall. "We developed an incredible relationship during that time. And every time I went back to Volgograd, we got together."

Veko spent a year in Colorado as an exchange student at Pegosa Springs High School, and "Papa Chet" traveled there to see his young friend play a lead part in a student production. "He speaks better English than I do," says Marshall.

The young Russian also spent a semester at San Diego State University.

Now, at age twenty-two, Veko is completing work on a master's degree in international studies at Lemonosov University in Moscow.

After a study trip to China, Veko made a stop today in West Virginia to visit with his mentor "Papa Chet."

But Chet Marshall was not here. Last week Chet made an emergency trip back to the M D Anderson Center in Houston where he has undergone treatments for multiple myeloma.

Chet called on longtime friend Kenny Higginbotham to introduce Veko to his Putnam Rotary family.

The results of a biopsy could tell tomorrow whether Marshall's recent loss of red blood cells results from chemotherapy treatments or from a recurrence of the cancer.

Whatever happens, the spirit of his mentor continues with Veko whether Marshall is in Texas or in West Virginia.. Or, one day perhaps, back in Volgograd.


More Putnam Rotary News? Click HERE.