Mike was diagnosed in December of 2015 and had the Whipple surgery in early January of 2016. After aggressive chemotherapy and being part of a clinical trial, we thought he was in the clear and a rare success story. His stomach pain came back the fall of 2016 and we were shocked to find out the cancer had come back in the same place. We then started to concentrate on Naturopathic Holistic Cancer treatments incorporating integrative medicine in hopes of reducing, or eliminating the tumor. Unfortunately, we were told that the tumor hadn’t reacted to the treatment as hoped and eventually Mike passed away on September 13, 2017.
Mike was a giant, but you’d have to spend considerable time with him to know it, which is how he wanted it. He had a deep but private faith in Jesus who was his north star. Mike left a legacy of humility, hard work, quick wit, discipline, generosity, compassion, and kindness for his children and grandchildren. Mike set the bar for character for most people that knew him. As cancer ravaged his body, his strength, determination, and resolve only became more apparent. He loved me, our children and grandchildren deeply and dedicated his life to it. This kindness, respect, and tenderness shown to one another made Mike’s last days something beautiful.
Mike’s father died of pancreatic cancer. We have two adult sons with families of their own who are at risk. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all major cancers, at just 9%. This is such a horrible disease affecting so many, and I am walking in the PurpleStride Walk on September 29 to support the vital efforts of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020. If you can join me and MIKE’S ARMY OF ANGELS on September 29, I would be so grateful and honored. Let’s fight this together in honor of Mike and families like ours everywhere and finally find a cure for Pancreatic Cancer.