Justin Kukowski Story

It’s the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded. That’s how Justin lived his life. Play hard, do it well, and make a strong finish. Brain cancer took his life, but not the tremendous legacy he left behind.
Justin Kukowski Story

This athletic, charismatic, 27-year-old Chaska man with a deep compassion for others lived with brain cancer for 588 days. But he never complained. Even his worst days weren’t too bad, he said. He endured horrific physical symptoms and grueling treatments, but Justin’s suffering motivated him to do the unimaginable. He became a determined traveler, seeing family, friends and events dear to his heart. He toured the streets of New York with a walker. He even pursued a degree in teaching. His winning attitude attracted a team of family and friends like no other.

Justin never thought he would die, but when his treatment options ran out, he knew he wanted to spend his last inning at home with his team. His loving parents turned to Ridgeview Hospice for help. The close proximity, support and accessibility of Ridgeview's caring medical staff offered reassurance during this incredibly challenging time.

In preparation for the final stretch, Justin organized an RV trip across the great northwest with his parents. The adventure—and visits with friends and relatives along the way—meant everything to Justin. It was a strong finish.

When he returned, a quiet, peaceful scene welcomed him home. The Ridgeview Hospice staff prepared Justin and his family. They were there every step of the way guiding and comforting them to the end. Justin’s last breath was a struggle. But that’s him—swallowing life whole. He died with dignity, surrounded by his team. Ridgeview Hospice helped him do that.

Justin was a loving son, brother, uncle, godparent, cousin, friend—and a champion for hundreds of families that could benefit from Ridgeview Hospice. Your generous gift today will positively impact the hospice program so others, like Justin, can live every moment. We need your help. Please consider a gift to Ridgeview Foundation.