A highlight from 201: The Best Thing You can do is Help Others.
Her job to be Michael's full -time caregiver. And the journey of Michael's cancer became a story to share, a purpose to fulfill. The mother and son started a podcast. Michael and mom taught cancer. And soon after, a website, a blog, and YouTube videos, and social media updates, and even motivational speaking within the cancer community. Now, to this day, Michael is in treatment for complications from his cancer, but he is alive. And the two continue to do all they can to fulfill their purpose of sharing love and connection with not only the cancer community, but anyone who needs inspiration and motivation. Welcome, you two. Thank you. Thank you for having us. Thank you for that beautiful introduction. Thank you for having us and for explaining all of that so beautifully. Well, you know, it really is a privilege to have you two on the show. Now, Michael, can you go back to the day that you found you had cancer? Tell us the story of how they found it. Yeah, so it all started around March of 2020. We were having the infamous COVID lockdown and I began to feel tired. And, you know, as you knew, I was a surfer, a windsurfer, you know, sailor, always outside in the water doing my thing, also in school. And I wasn't doing any of those things because of COVID. So I started to feel pretty tired. I thought maybe I was down. I thought maybe I had COVID. And the months kind of just dragged on. And up until around June was when I really noticed a problem. I was really, really, really tired. And the gyms reopened. You have to wear a mask, of course. I was doing some stuff again and I went to the gym and I was just exhausted. And then we decided to my mom and I decided to call our my pediatrician at the time, and we scheduled a online call. We did the call online. She said, well, you look fine, but if you want, you can come in for some blood work. So a few weeks go by and I decide, OK, I'm going to go in for some blood work because I started to get some fevers. I went in for the blood work. She said I looked good. But then a few days later, the result came back and she gave us a call. She said that she wanted us to meet with a specialist at Nicholas Children's Hospital. My mom and I went to Nicholas Children's Hospital. We weren't thinking anything of cancer at all. We met with an oncologist. I don't know why we weren't thinking cancer, but he did some blood work. Yeah. So Stephen stayed a night to do a bone marrow biopsy the next day. But we were like, no, we're going to go home. But I want to spend the night in the hospital. I'm young. I'm healthy. I'm probably just anemic or something like that. And we come back the next day and I do a bone marrow biopsy and I wake up in the room and all of a sudden a doctor walks in and says, you have leukemia slash lymphoma. Yes, it it was a shock. Well, that was really an eye opener for you. I mean, that was probably one of the most traumatic events that happened to you because your life changed in an instant. In an instant, being a person that was going to the Olympics, you know, going to develop. And all of a sudden this became a mountain to climb. Yes. Yeah, it just turned upside down so quickly. How did you two deal with that? We just we just dealt with it. I immediately remember thinking about my father, who we lost to cancer and thinking that, you know, this was kind of for him. I needed to get through this and be OK for him. And as soon as I started chemotherapy, it was really, really intense.