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CLEVELAND (WJW)– For Ben Marthey, 2020 has been as challenging of a year, as it has for any caregiver and their families

Marthey, a nurse at the Cleveland Clinic, has worked 12-hour shifts through a pandemic.

“You deal with trying to do the best you can every day and they are not always good scenarios that you deal with. But then you go home and you really don’t get a break from it because, am I bringing something home to my family or my parents or my cousins or any of your friends? So I haven’t got a reprieve from that element. It’s the uncertainty you deal with,” Marthey said.

Adding to that the restrictions have made celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other special occasions difficult.

“I just had a birthday in December and normally, we would go out paint the town and have a nice dinner, it was very hard to stay home, but we did,” Marthey said.

And in spite of all of the challenges, Marthey wanted to do something very special for his wife, Stef, for their 10th anniversary on Friday.

Before their wedding, Marthey said the couple were out shopping for groceries on a stormy, wintery evening.

“It was a really snowy night. We were walking through the parking lot and she just said, ‘Hey, you know, I’ll be alright as long as your footsteps are next to mine,'” Marthey said.

Also a musician, Marthey said her words resonated with him, so he wrote a song he called “Footsteps,” which he sang at their wedding, but never properly recorded.

“I think there is a recording out there somewhere, but I wanted to do something that’s more official and something that is going to last that we can look back on when we are older and more gray,” he said

For 10tenth anniversary Marthey, along with a friend on strings, recorded a special version of his song as a surprise gift to his wife. The song was revealed to her for the first time on FOX 8.

With the pandemic still raging through the area, Marthey wants to recognize all of his colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic who he describes as amazing, talented, kind and compassionate. All of them facing the same challenges, still unable to have a large public celebration.

“I wanted to do everything I can to make this as special as possible. It’s a milestone and as I said, I am looking forward to many many more.”

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