After being diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer last October and given 3 months to live, Sir Peter Anderson, 67, rode in the front of the Conch Republic Independence celebration parade with his daughter and former wife.
In 1990, Anderson was appointed Secretary General of the Conch Republic, the fake country created in 1982 by Key West leaders so they could “secede” from the United States. He took the humorous role super-seriously, and for 25 years, has been the public face of the Conch Republic, keeping alive its fun-loving spirit, charity works and zany independence events.
But this year, Anderson was not expected to attend the 32nd Conch Republic parade. He was supposed to be dead : last October, he was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. « The doctor gave me about three months, » he said. But Anderson had led an unbelievable life, so tracking down a “miracle” and recovering from near death was just another chapter. He began searching and came up with proton therapy.
It was a horrible ordeal, and he returned home weak. « I could see in my daughter’s eyes she thought I was going to die, » Anderson said. But slowly he began gaining strength, and despite tiring easily, he was able to attend all of the 20 events of his 25th Independence Celebration.