Cancer survivors’ stories are welcome good news in a world full of gloom and celebrity tittle tattle.
This survivor’s story is remarkable in every sense of that word. His name is Mel Mann. This briefly is his story –
Mel was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in January 1995 and given three years to live. The only possible hope for survival was a bone marrow transplant. Despite numerous marrow drives and adding thousands of people to the marrow registry, he never found a donor. Three years after diagnosis, he entered the phase 1 clinical trial of Gleevec (imatinib) at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Over twenty years later, he is their longest living Gleevec patient.
Mel’s full story can be read at the Cure Today website.
He contacted me through Twitter and made a simple request, that I Re-tweet his story to give hope to the many cancer sufferers throughout the world. Gladly, I did as he asked. I also decided to write this post in honor and respect to the man. Not only is he a cancer survivor but he has campaigned tirelessly to promote marrow drives and add many people to the bone marrow registry. I take my hat off to you, sir.
On his initial diagnosis he had this to say –
As I left the doctor’s office, somehow I did not feel the back pain anymore. Cars were still going up and down the street as usual, and there I stood like a deer caught in the headlights of an incurable diagnosis. I felt like I had a losing lottery ticket, but I needed to recheck the numbers because my luck couldn’t be this bad. I agonized over how I was going to break this news to my wife and my mother.
Although I have never had to go through a diagnosis of cancer, I have family who have experienced those frightening early days of coming to terms with all the issues.
Any news that can assist anyone suffering from cancer is good news. One day I’m sure there will be a “magic bullet” cure for the disease.
In the meantime all we can do is pray and hope that all cancer sufferers conquer the disease and they have the support of their friends and family during the bad times.
It was also good to read that Mel’s daughter, five at the time of his diagnosis, is now training to be a physician.
Mel can be found on Twitter here.