Mike Cohen is a 32 year old cancer survivor (diagnosed at 18 -21 with leukemia, congestive heart failure, pneumonia) who celebrated being cancer free for 6 years at age 27 by riding his bike across the US from SD to his hometown of Brooklyn where he was diagnosed and told he was not going to live.
His goal was and is to inspire others to face adversity, cancer or otherwise, head on and fight! He has now been cancer free for 12 years!
On August 4th, 2017, Mike had severe chest pain and a loss of breath and was rushed to Scripps hospital in La Jolla and told he was having a heart attack. He was immediately taken into an emergency procedure where they found a golf ball sized blood clot and learned his heart was operating at 10% functionality.
They kept him in ICU for 8 days with a team of 12 Cardiologists, Heart Failure and Pulmonary, Infectious Disease, internist, and other specialty Docs working to solve the equation of where this came from.
They now suspect the chemo drugs caused damage to his heart, forcing it to work overtime and noted the clot may have been there for 6 months and undetected.
Life meant getting immediate open heart surgery to remove the clot and insert an Lvad, a device used to pump blood in his heart, strengthening his left ventricle.
Mike was in surgery for over 7 hours to remove the blood clot in his heart and implant the device in his heart.
Since being released from the hospital on August 17th, 2017, he has been updating and documenting his recovery in social media, wrote a book, and started a podcast that will be published and launched this year. He returned back to work 10 hours a week in December, and starting to get more energy began walking Kate Sessions in January, and lifting 10lb kettlebells most days. Walking around the mall, cooking in, going to his appointments, chilling and resting occupied most of his time. We celebrated the holidays with my family and took one overnight trip. He drove to LA a few times and has spent a ton of time writing, hanging with friends, family and keeping it simple, taking care of himself.
On January 22nd 2018, the night we had planned to go to Fogo De Chao with 8 of Mike’s friends to celebrate 12 years of being cancer free. That morning, Mike mentioned he was feeling some discomfort in his chest. He went to the Scripps clinic for his routine lab visit. I stopped by to drop off his computer as it would most likely take some time to wait for an appointment if it was busy in the clinic. Whenever there is something that doesn’t feel ‘right’, (because it is really important to be in tune when ANYTHING feels off), he needs to go to the clinic to be seen. So, Monday, he went upstairs to see the LVAD team and got an appointment at 1:30 to check in with his chest. He called me at 1:00 while I was out running an errand. We were slated to meet for the appointment and then hang out before dinner. He called, “I just had my appointment, meet me at the hospital, they are going to admit me”. So, I met him at the hospital and was admitted.
On January 30th, Mike was approved to be listed on the heart transplant list. He is currently awaiting a perfect match, and can get a call for the surgery any day. Please check out the updates to keep up with his progress.
Thank you so much for your love and support,
Mike & Missy
- Jen Long
- Barry Kestenberg
- Robert Worton
- Kate Velasquez
Organizer and beneficiary
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