Professor Paul Markel needs your help. He was diagnosed with Cancer. Cystic Squamous Cell Carcinoma. He uprooted his home and business, moved to Salt Lake City, and is starting treatment soon.
We believe God has a plan.
Professor Paul is using this diagnosis as a way to show that #FightingSolvesEverything. He views this as an opportunity to help motivate others who have experienced cancer themselves or through a loved one.
If you’re able to support Paul monetarily, please do. Even just $5 helps.
If you have a moment to write Paul a motivational message, send it to:
SOTG PO Box 575761 ATTN Professor Paul Salt Lake City, UT 84157
Thank you in advance for your support.
Here is the full story, written by his son Jarrad:
Dad noticed a lump in his neck mid January, thought it was a swollen lymph node because my mom, Nancy, had recently been in the hospital. Swollen lymph nodes usually occur as a result of exposure to bacteria or viruses.
Dad went to The Platte Valley Medical Clinic in Saratoga, WY the week after SHOT Show in January 2019. I didn’t even notice a swollen spot on his neck the entire week of SHOT Show.
Susan Foley, NP sent him to Rawlins, WY for an ultrasound. The ultrasound was “inconclusive” and he needed further testing. The next week he had to go back to Rawlins for a CT with contrast.
The week after that, dad had to go back to Susan Foley, NP in Saratoga, WY to get the results of the CT scan. The results were “abnormal cell growth.” She referred dad to a specialist in Laramie, WY.
A few days later, Dad went to see an Otolaryngologist. Dr. Johnson performed a needle aspiration to extract cells and send them away for testing
The initial diagnosis was on February 22nd, 2019. Dr. Johnson called and broke the news to dad that he has cancer. I can’t imagine the punch in the gut that was.
2/22 - The nurse called and scheduled a PET scan with radioactive glucose contrast for the next week in Cheyenne, WY. In order to set a treatment plan, Dr. Johnson needed to know exactly where in dad's body the cancer was present.
2/23 - Dad called me while I was in Palm Desert, CA with Dan Olesnicky, his family, and the SWAT Fuel team. Dad told me he had Cystic Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
I talked with dad for a bit, hung up the phone, and told DanO. DanO said “let me do what I can” and immediately went to his computer. DanO is an ER Doc, Stem Cell Doc, SWAT Doc, and Founder of SWAT Fuel. He used his network to do some research for about 20 min then came to me and told me that depending on the type and stage, dad had about an 80% survival rate.I asked him to call dad and let him know. DanO called dad, told him what he had found, and told him to start the Ketogenic Diet immediately. Dad did everything DanO said. I’m proud of dad - he was diagnosed with cancer AND had his “vices” taken away. It had to have been a difficult change.
The next week dad was scheduled to go to Cheyenne, WY for the PET scan with radioactive glucose contrast. The minute Chris and Deb D’Amico, friends of the family, found out dad had cancer and had to go to Cheyenne, they booked a room for mom and dad without being asked. It was the first of so many kind gestures. What a Blessing.
On the way back to Saratoga, the roads were whiteout conditions. If you know anything about Interstate 80 from Cheyenne to Rawlins, you know what I’m talking about. Thank the Lord they made it home safe.
The next week, Mom and Dad went to Laramie to have a face-to-face consultation with Dr. Johnson. Mom and dad found out that the cancer was localized and not yet attached to any organs (metastasized). Good news! They also found out that dad needed a surgical biopsy so they could pull tissue samples and test to find out what kind of cancer and what stage.
The week after that mom and dad went to Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie for dad to have the biopsy done.
They arrived in Laramie on Sunday afternoon and checked into their room at the Ivinson Guest House. After checking in, they hopped in the truck and just drove around, trying to keep their mind off the surgery that had to happen the next day. Dad was VERY worried about the anesthetic because one of his close friends died due to the effects of anesthesia during surgery.
Early Monday morning, the surgical team rolled dad into surgery. Mom went down to the cafeteria to get a cup of coffee and quickly returned to the surgical waiting area. Within 30 minutes the doc came out and said that dad was in recovery and was in the process of waking up.
Little did mom and dad know that this biopsy would not be the final biopsy. This biopsy was on a Monday. Dad received a call on Friday with the news that the Doctor had not been able to retrieve cancer cells, only “atypical” cells. Dad was told he needed to go in for another surgical biopsy the following Monday at 2pm at Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie.
Since it wasn’t until 2pm, mom and dad left Saratoga, WY the morning of the SECOND surgical biopsy. They made it to Laramie around 11am, checked in and the surgical team was able to get dad into the operating room early. This time Dr. Johnson had a pathologist on hand so the cells could be checked right away to verify they had a cancer sample before waking dad up.
This biopsy didn’t go as quickly as the first one…
Mom stayed with dad in the room until they took him back for surgery. When they took him back (at 1250) she went down to the cafeteria for a drink, came back up, and sat there for what seemed like forever.
There is a monitor in the waiting room that you can use to check the progress of the procedure. Mom was starting to worry because she hadn’t heard from the doctor as quickly as she had after the first surgical biopsy. She checked the screen and the procedure showed “ended” at 1335.
She checked the screen again after 1400 and it said “anesthesia stopped”.
Then she saw the doctor coming back from the lab and he confirmed that they a cancer sample this time.
I tried to reserve PODS, Upack, and U-Box containers but none of them delivered to Saratoga, WY. So getting a moving truck, it was.
My brother Zach took care of booking the moving truck that we would use to move everything to Salt Lake City, UT where dad will be receiving treatment. Zach was able to reserve a 20ft. Truck (remember that because it’ll pop up later).
The moving truck rental company didn’t have a truck that we could pick up near Saratoga so my wife, Alex, and I picked up a 20ft. truck from Salt Lake City on that Thursday and prepped everything to head to Saratoga on Friday morning.
Dad got the biopsy results that Friday. I remember it like it happened yesterday because Alex and I had just arrived in Saratoga to help pack up the moving truck. We were moving Mom/Dad’s household, Zach’s (my brother) household, and our family business from Saratoga to Salt Lake City, UT where my wife and I have been living for the past 2 years.
Dad took the call and went to the other room to talk to the doctor. I could tell he was nervous by the sound of his voice. He came back out to the living room with a look in his eye I had never seen before. My heart dropped to my stomach because I didn’t know what to expect, so I was preparing for the worst. Dad looked at mom and said “do you want to come talk to me in private first?” I had absolutely NO clue what that meant but I kept praying about it.
After mom and dad talked, they came out, dad gathered the family in a circle, gave us the news, and we immediately prayed.
The doctor said “This is the cancer I was hoping for. It’s highly treatable". Dad would have an anticipated treatment plan of 7 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week. Dr. Johnson referred dad to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.
We spent that entire weekend packing up 2 households and our family business into a moving truck. Normally, when you move you just order Pizza or something filled with carbs for energy while you’re loading the truck. We couldn’t do that because Keto was required. Mom spent most of her time prepping food for the family. I know it had to be a difficult transition for her to go from ranch cooking to Keto only, but she’s done an amazing job.
Sunday came and we packed the entire 20ft. Truck.
But guess what…
We still had a garage FULL of things that had to make the trip. I was able to secure a 2nd moving truck with a mobile app - how awesome is that? Mom drove me to Rawlins to pick up the truck and we arrived back just before dark.
We finally got everything packed up late Monday afternoon. We loaded Zach’s car onto the trailer and we started the caravan to Salt Lake City around 730pm Monday. Needless to say, it was a LONG weekend of packing.
We arrived at the storage facility in Salt Lake City around 2am Tuesday morning. I was under the impression that my 24hr. access badge would allow us entry to the large rollup door. I was wrong so we went to our home in Sugarhouse to get some sleep before the long day of unpacking began the next day.
As I write this, dad will begin down his treatment path at Huntsman in 6 days, April 15th. Please pray for the Markel family. We know God has a plan.