Michael Pozzi is a light to everyone he meets. He is always helping someone out or baking for someone or just spreading good cheer. It's our turn to be that light for Michael.
Michael Pozzi walked into our lives in 2015. Literally. He was walking across the country to raise awareness of the stigma of mental illness, following the death of his brother Chris. Mike began his walk on August 31, 2014 from Sullivan's Island, SC with his goal to end up at Shell Beach in CA. He made it to Ruston, LA on October 20, 2014 which is where I had the pleasure of meeting him for the first time.
I was helping to manage a little mobile clinic and received a call from a friend who had received a call from Mike's sister Grace letting us know he was passing through. Upon learning about Mike's mission, he was assisted that night by the Chamber of Commerce and a local church. I met with him to discuss the mental illness stigma and invited him to participate in our annual health expo. He agreed and proceeded to help us with the final details before the expo.
When Mike mentioned that he was struggling with shin splints I encouraged him to be seen by our nursing staff. He begrudging agreed as he never wanted to put anyone out. But, I can be quite persuasive - lol. On October 22, 2014, Mike arrived at the clinic and we headed to the events center. It was there that Mike received the results from his lab tests. They were critical and I brought Mike to the hospital. He had to be admitted in order to receive the two pints of blood he needed for his low hemoglobin.
On the 23rd, the Dr. ordered more, indicating that something was seriously wrong. The hospital also ordered a GI and colonoscopy to better understand the chronic blood loss.
In his blog Mike said, "God brought me here for a reason and purpose and will take care of me no doubt.
I look forward to receiving the help I need so I may continue my walk and journey. It is and has been a true blessing from God and I am thankful for being able to do this walk. God bless.
The blessings from these people have been so great and awesome...God truly watches over those who walk His path. Trials...tribulations...hardships...injuries...illnesses...nothing but blessings."
Sadly, Mike's walk would not continue. Surgery was required to remove 1/3 of his colon due to stage 4 cancer, that had also spread to his liver. Following surgery, Mike stayed in Ruston awhile before returning home to endure chemo treatments.
Since that time Mike has received treatments and ongoing care. Mike does have limited regional insurance with Medicare Advantage in the NE Tennessee area only. It has been difficult to get into see some of the specialists who can assist him in receiving the care he needs to address all of the ongoing impacts of liver cancer since they are out of network. He has routinely experienced bile duct blockage, shortness of breath, and stomach problems. He is trying to get an endoscopic ultra sound done to check for more blockage, but with the insurance limitations and the related costs, it is difficult to get treatment.
He has too many tumors in the liver and so surgery is not an option. When asked about his prognosis, Mike reported that the Dr. said, "You already outlived your prognosis. You were diagnosed in 2014 and it's now 2018." That is God working in his life most certainly. And, he is leaning on God for strength to get through these days that are complicated by pain, expensive medications, and the struggle to get treatment in his network. In addition to the loss of income and the struggle to meet everyday expenses, Mike and Val are paying for copays, out-of-pocket expenses, prescriptions, equipment, and travel expenses related to care.
But we are the body. We are His hands and feet. As Mike and Val's friend, I am asking that you assist them in meeting their financial struggles by donating whatever you can. They will be using the money to cover medical and life expenses. In Mike's words...God bless.
From Mike's blog November 2014:
The Walk, The real Reason!
By Mike Pozzi
What the walk means to me is now easy to express.
It was an inspiration from God,
I never would have guessed!
I learned to look at things that came my way,
whether good or bad as a blessing each and every day!
I thanked the Lord for whatever came down my path,
knowing He was walking with me, and His love would last!
He showed me that sometimes my wants were not what was best,
His plan was better, and that I can attest!
The blessings He gave sometimes brought tears to my eyes,
So overwhelming, it was like winning the grand prize!
Prayer and Faith is all you need,
To receive the special blessings, I must concede!
He took me from a dark place in my life,
where depression and anxiety cut like a knife,
He opened my heart and let His love shine,
He took me down His path, and not down mine.
Mine would have ended in total despair,
But He guided me with loving precision and great care!
He got me where I needed to be,
To receive the plan that He had for me!
For unknown to me I had cancer growing inside,
If not for Him, I surely would have died!
I have been given more time to tell the story,
of all God has done, and of all His Glory!
When I am called, I will be ready to go,
It will be in His time, and that I know!
So when I'm gone, don't worry about me,
I'll be well taken care of with the Lord you see.
The words He may say, just might be,
Come, come finish your walk along side of me!
And now I know, It is plain to see,
I just feel the urge to walk...came from Thee!
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
My first visit with the doctor today!
I had my first appointment with my doctor at the Tennessee Cancer Specialists. It was pretty much what I heard in Louisiana in some respects. The "statistical" prognosis was as follows, with out chemo 6-12 months, with chemo 2-3 years, but the doctor also stated it is really up to the individual and how well they respond to treatment. He has seen some go 5-10 years.
Me, what do I think, I feel when God calls me, that will be my time not before or not after, but in God's time. If it is 3 days, 3 years, or 30 years, I will be ready when called. In the meantime I will pray, study the word to the best of my ability, and praise God for all I have had and continue to have in my life. He is in total control and I just pray I can follow the path he puts before me and Glorify his name.
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