Dennis Sonntag, Road to Recovery

Meet Dennis, a 27 year old father of five. In December of 2013, experiencing difficulty breathing turned into a life-changing event. Not only was he diagnosed with one type of cancer, but two. He who was diagnosed with Lymphoma and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on December 26th, 2013. Dennis' particular form of cancer is very rare and requires hospital stays of one week every 21-28 days for a period of eight months to receive aggressive chemo-therapy.

During the initial stages of his disease, Dennis battled over 16 liters of fluid continually collection on his lung (collapsing it) and needing to be repeatedly drained. Furthermore, Dennis endured countless surgeries including an emergency heart surgery (congestive heart failure) and neurosurgery to implant the necessary devices to even begin to treat the above cancer.
Since the above emergent issues, Dennis is currently focusing on his aggressive chemotherapy to attempt to rid him of this disease.

Dennis has/had been working for Children's Protective Services for about three years up until these events. Due to his aggressive treatment and doctor's recommendation, Dennis can no longer work during this period of time. Even with his tenure, Dennis was forced to exhaust all of his sick and vacation leave. Dennis' co-workers have even donated vacation hours, but there is a maximum allowance of donated hours. Starting March 13th, Dennis will no longer receive a paycheck, which provides the family's only source of income. This leaves the family to independently cover all bills out-of-pocket including health insurance premiums, mortgage, food, and all other expenses for a family of seven.

Dennis met his now wife on March 13th 2009, starting a relationship with her and her three lovely children. Dennis was attending the Ferris State University Police Academy and earning his Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice at that time. Even with his busy schedule, they would spend hours on the phone every night. It was love at first sight.

Dennis and Diana later became engaged in December of 2010, but just like their meeting it was full of surprises. Dennis' proposal included a helicopter ride and "Will you marry me" displayed in Christmas lights on the ground operated by Dennis' soon to be step children. What followed was a whirlwind engagement and magical wedding on August 13 2011. Dennis and Diana had a life others dreamed of; a beautiful home, three boys (Evan, Tyler and Collin), and a fairytale marriage. Soon followed the birth of their own twin boys Roman and Raylan Sonntag. Life was hectic, but good. That all changed the day after Christmas when Dennis' diagnosis became their reality and unfortunately employment for Diana was not an option with the over demanding needs of her family.
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Sara Brunner Trumbo 
Sterling Heights, MI
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