This year the recipient of the Christmas Ornament sales at Kahuna Coffee will go to Michael Anderson to help with his medical expenses. Michael and his twin brother Sean are Juniors in Hartland. Michael was diagnosed with Stage 4 Rahbdomyosarcoma in December 2010.
The main tumor was roughly 17cm (7”) between his liver and kidney; it had metastasized throughout his body and was beginning to spread quickly. He had gone through a very intensive Chemo and radiation therapy for 13 months. There were 84 days of Chemo and 50 days of radiation. In short, he was one of the toughest kids I know.
He finished Chemo in January 2012 and had 9 months of clean scans and cancer-free living. Then on September 20 Michael went in for a routine check up and scans. They found the cancer had returned! This time there were 10 small spots on the lining of his lung and 2 smaller tumors starting in his abdomen.
Although it is completely devastating to hear, he never gave up! They put his port back in a week later and started chemo the next day. After 2 – 5 continuous days of treatment, the doctors wanted to check to see the progress and found that he is at this time cancer-free again.
Michael has also been dedicated to giving back himself. He was elected to the Teen Advisory board where a group of selected teens work with the staff and doctors to improve life for teenagers that have to stay in the hospital. They work on projects together as well as advising the doctors and nurses how it feels to be a teenager in the hospital. We see improvements on a regular basis.
He has also provided input into UofM Wellness network – where they are making a quick movie that will be on the TV network at the hospital that people can watch on what it is like to have cancer as a kid and be in the hospital. They hope it makes it easier for another kid going through this.