Shortly after the passing of his mother, Nancy, to cancer in October 2015, Mike was diagnosed in January 2016 with Thymic carcinoma, a rare cancer diagnosed to only 400 people each year, but is even more rare for a young man of his age. Doctors told Mike he had a mass in his chest just above his heart and pressing on his lungs, centered in his Thymus. Later he had found that it had spread into his spine, joints, and bones throughout his body, making it stage 4 Ewing sarcoma. In February 2016, doctors told Mike that he had 6 months to live, news that would completely shut most people down into a spiral of sorrow and defeat, but not Mike. Surpassing this devastating limit on his time on Earth, Mike celebrated his 25th birthday and the holidays with his family, puppy Duncan, and close friends, insisting that cancer will not define him or how he lives his life. He has taken this journey by saying "F*^#! Cancer" and uses it as strength to keeping fighting. It's been two years since he got the news and Mike is still fighting every day.
He has endured ten rounds of radiation and just finished his 62nd round of Chemo, with still no definite plan for his treatments or his future. This new treatment is a clinical trial that requires Mike to be hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours. Mike receives Chemo in Syracuse but also travels to Memorial Sloan and Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. He has to worry about medical expenses and bills piling up when he should not have to. After two years of this battle, worrying about how he will afford his much-needed medical treatments should be the last of his worries. We ask for your generosity, good wishes, and prayers for his recovery.
Mike's resilience and outlook on life is incredible. He allows the power of nature, friends and family, and his animals to become his strength and therapy. Instead of letting his cancer consume him in sorrow, he chooses to embrace it, and Fight! Mike is the first to dance like no one is watching, the first to lend a helping hand, and the first to try to make you smile in any way he can. There are a handful of people who walk in and out of your life, remaining only flickers of light, but then there is Mike: someone who has touched my life, and the lives of so many others, in such a dramatic fashion, he will remain a constant glow for eternity.
With so much negativity in a world filled with hate, let his story be a reminder to all to find good in everything and to "Choose to be happy." Look after yourself and your family: get yourself checked regularly with mammograms, Pap smears, and colonoscopies. Do not let cancer control you; take charge of your own life! Chose to not just be present, but to live.
Do not tie yourself to Mike with pity or of tears
Chose to be happy and embrace your inner fears
Thank him for his courage and for his smile that's always shown
Let him know we are fighting beside him, for he does not walk alone!
Cancer affects millions of people every year; for those fighting this battle, supporting loved ones, and grieving those lost, it is a disease that can consume who we are. Mike’s family chooses to be happy in spite of what cancer has taken from them. Christina, Mike’s older sister, is a childhood cancer survivor and someone with whom Mike can share this burden and port scar with. After losing a sister he never met and beloved mother to this disease, Mike is determined to not only survive, but to live.
If you can all come together once again and keep on helping him fight this fight, please donate to help share in some of the burden....no amount is too small. If you cannot donate then please share his story in hopes of inspiring someone. Thank you and F*#%! Cancer!