Michael Rhodin has two loves in his life. The first one is his wife, Nione, who he has been married to for 34 years. They met at Ball Aerospace and Technologies in Boulder where they both worked for a total of 60 years. They built a home in southwest Loveland and a “shop” that is larger than the house to accommodate Michael’s second love: cars.
Michael loves buying, owning, renovating and selling cars. He’s owned over several hundred cars since he began his hobby, including a 1911 Chalmers 30 named “Miss Olivia” (seen in the photo). When he retired from Ball, he wasn’t sure what he was going to do but he knew he had to do something with his hands. He enjoyed building satellites for NASA and used that same skillset to rebuild engines and restore old cars.
“I love my wife and I love what I do,” said Michael. “You can’t fake that.”
Michael and Nione have been a part of the UCHealth family since 2007.
In 2008, Michael was in a serious motorcycle accident that had him fighting for his life in the ICU unit at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. Nione was by his side for three weeks after the accident praying for a miracle as Michael was not expected to survive.
“I wasn’t doing more than 35 miles per hour when my bike seized up, jackknifed and I went down,” said Michael. “I broke eight ribs and cracked my helmet and spent two out of the three weeks in a coma.
“I thank the nurses, doctors and staff that cared for me after the accident. They were put there by God to save my life and they did. I owe my life to God.”
After the accident, Michael and Nione were asked to sit as charter members on the Patient-Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) to help MCR staff better care for patients and their families.
During their four years of volunteering at the hospital they helped implement 30 changes in processes or policies that improved patient care. Nione still volunteers two days a week at MCR helping with administrative tasks and in 2013, she was named MCR volunteer of the year.
Michael also visits an UCHealth primary care provider annually to help manage his diabetes and health. During one of his check-ups, Michael was told he should have a colonoscopy; something he had never experienced.
“I told my doctor that I had never had a colonoscopy and had no intention of having one,” said Michael. “He didn’t let me get off that easy and ordered a colonoscopy.
“During the colonoscopy they found stage 1 cancer. I went through treatment, had colon surgery, the cancer removed and is now cancer free. He saved my life by ordering that procedure.”
Michael and Nione enjoy travelling, volunteering at their church, spending time with friends and enjoying each other’s company. They take care of themselves by scheduling their annual wellness exams, managing their health and spending time doing activities they love. They do it so they can be there for each other.