In 2012, at the age of 35, my life changed in a way I never imagined. After a month of unknowns, surfacing fears and hope, I was told those three words you never want to hear, “You have cancer.” But I didn’t just have cancer, I had acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is typically diagnosed in older adults. AML has a 25% survival rate. And in the past 40 years, there have been no new treatments for AML. None. I was scared. I felt alone and I wondered how I was going to beat those odds.
I spent 6 months in and out of the hospital for treatments and infections (one life threatening). I felt like I was missing out on time with my wife and 2-year-old daughter. I kept thinking about those odds and hoping that somehow I’d beat them. The day finally came when we got the news that I was cancer free.
Much has changed since I was told I had cancer. My daughter now has a little brother and I am still able to be here and be a father, husband, son, brother and friend. This year I am celebrating my 41st birthday and that’s a big deal. But what makes this one even more special is that I’ve been cancer free for FIVE years! Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful to the doctors, nurses, family, friends and the treatments I had that helped me get to this point. But not everyone is as lucky as I am and that’s why I continue to raise money for Light The Night and LLS. We need more treatments for people with AML. And we need to find a way to make sure people don’t hear those three words again.