A Helping Hand: Brian 'BK' Klimek
SARASOTA - "He’s the kinda guy that you’ll sit across the bar from or next to drinking a beer, and you’ll feel like you’ve known him for a million years," Brew Life Brewing Owner Mick Cohn said about his friend, Brian 'BK' Klimek.
After managing countless bars, Klimek says there was just something special about the brewing community.
“It took me on a whole new world," Klimek said. He started his own business helping breweries put events together.
“He was kinda the first impression in the Sarasota area for me to see how the camaraderie of the Sarasota brewing industry worked well together," Big Top Brewing Company CEO Mike Bisaha said.
Klimek didn’t know just how much he’d need that camaraderie and support.
“Back in December of 2018 I noticed my daily routine was starting to get a little more difficult," Klimek said. "Normally I'd wake up and walk three to five miles every morning; I noticed I couldn’t quite make that three mile mark. I was having shortness of breath.”
He went to his doctor who prescribed blood pressure meds, but Klimek followed up with a cardiologist.
“Unfortunately within the process of doing some tests there, found out I had the beginning stages of congestive heart failure," Klimek said.
He was admitted to the hospital, where he spent 108 days - 52 of them in the ICU.
“All the doctors and cardiologists were basically telling my family to make arrangements because they didn’t think I was gonna make it," Klimek said.
He made it, but not without countless medical bills. So Carl Reynolds Law wanted to give him A Helping Hand.
His brewing family came together to throw him an event at Big Top Brewing Company, too.
“No man wants to see his brother’s mortality tested," Cohn said. "BK is our brother, and there was no question that we needed to rally the troops.”
“I’d do the same thing for any single one of them," Klimek said.
“I truly feel like his old heart maybe failed because it was so big and he had so many people in it," Cohn said.
BK says he can be on the waiting list for a new heart for up to ten years, but a pump he had installed should help in the meantime.