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Bishop's Battle: Cancer plagues castle creator - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Bishop's Battle: Cancer plagues castle creator

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Bishop Castle stands 160 feet tall in the San Isabel National Forest, just outside of Rye. Bishop Castle stands 160 feet tall in the San Isabel National Forest, just outside of Rye.

The creator of the famous Bishop Castle is battling a rare form of cancer.

Although he will undergo radiation treatment next week, his family says his illness is incurable.

Jim Bishop is fighting his cancer but says the hardest part about it, is not having the strength to continue working on his castle.

It's been 46 years in the making.

"It's a love of work, a love of showing what you can do if you have a desire," Phoebe Bishop, Jim's wife said.

Tucked away in the San Isabel National Forest, you'll find Bishop Castle standing 160 feet tall, all built by one man... Jim Bishop.

Donita Bishop, Jim's youngest daughter, grew up here.

"I would climb the scaffolding, I'd go upside down, it was like my giant jungle gym," Donita Bishop said.

And after almost 50 years of marriage, it's a project his wife Phoebe has supported since day one.

"It's my life, it's his life. We raised our children here, my oldest son will be 42 in a couple of weeks," Phoebe said.

Jim is fighting merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer that doctors say is incurable.

"It is a cancer that is aggressive and invasive. We were told it can't be cured but they hope to control it," Phoebe said.

Jim was too weak to join us at the castle today, so we with him at his home in Pueblo.

"I take tremendous pride in that work, I mean that's the world's biggest weight lifting trophy, the world's biggest one-man project, it's a little of everything in it," Jim Bishop, castle builder said.

But his illness has kept him away from working on the castle since December.

"My days are just bland because there's nothing to do all day," he said.

Jim will turn 71 next week when he will begin radiation treatment.

"I'm weak now and it will make me weaker but I gotta battle this thing, I gotta fight it and come out on top," he said.

And for now, the castle has been left unfinished.

"He's always said that the castle will be unfinished until the day he dies," Donita said.

"Oh it's totally unfinished. There's nothing finished about it except the sheet metal part of the roof," Jim said.

As a precaution, the castle has been put into a trust in case anything were to happen to Jim.

Bishop Castle is free and open to the public every day of the year, operating on a donation basis.

The family is asking for any well wishes or donations for Jim to be sent to 1529 Claremont Avenue, Pueblo, CO 81004.

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