My student, Mike Skoyec, 35, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth. He's taken a handful of meds his entire life. He's been in and out of the hospital from childhood until he had a double lung transplant on July 4th 2008 (age 26) at Shands Hospital.
He was in the hospital post transplant for 2 weeks and then started training for a half marathon. Ran the ING half marathon 13.1 miles 6 months after the surgery. Then he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis related Diabetes (CFRD). So he had to start taking insulin. He grew up doing Kickboxing with Sensei Mike Hollobaugh (and Josh Escher), achieving the rank of black belt after his lung transplant. He also fought and won a kickboxing fight in 2015. A TKO from body punches at the end of the first round!
Mike was diagnosed with high blood pressure later that year and had to go on BP meds. Wanting to try something new, he started Jiu Jitsu with me in November 2016. He put in an incredible amount of work, many times training twice in one day and competing, it was truly inspiring.
I gave him his blue belt in May of 2017 in a special beach ceremony.
August 2017, Mike was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. He's being seen at Florida Cancer Specialists in Brandon, FL. He meets with the radiation doc this week and then the surgeon on the 16th. We aren't sure of the stage yet, he'll know more after this week. This is going to be a tough battle for Mike, so I wanted to try and help him out by creating this gofundme.
More about Mike: He started attending a camp for kids with CF, called Sunny Shores Sea Camp, at age 11 and he still goes as an adult to try to let the kids know that sports, like martial arts, are great ways to stay healthier. His girlfriend Diana Perillo, also has Cystic Fibrosis, and she's in her early 30s.
- Michael Shefrin
- Cindy Puerto
- Suzan Hertzog
- Elizabeth Samay