Father's Esophageal Cancer Battle
“I have a co-worker who is running [in Mount Washington] and [the race] only accepts 1,000 runners by lottery. I did it on a whim and didn’t expect to win the lottery— I won.
I wanted to do something for my dad, to raise funds and it was serendipity that I got into the race and it seemed appropriate to raise funds,” she says. “They tell you to be able to run about two hours.”
Initially, the pain Mike felt in his side was thought to be related to his gallbladder. When ultrasound showed the gallbladder to be fine, the pain was thought to be coming from a rib. The pain continued.
“In January, he went to the emergency room in a lot of pain and at the emergency room they did an endoscopy,” Michelle said. “We did not catch it early—it was late stage.”
Mike is not a surgical candidate. He has had a round of radiation and chemotherapy and he and his family are awaiting the results.
In honor of her father, Michelle aims to finish the race to “to raise awareness. I want to raise money [to further the mission of ECAN] and I’ve passed my goal quite a bit.”
Michelle acknowledged her anger at the disease.
Early detection “seems like such as simple thing to me. No other family should have to go through with what we are going through.”
On a personal level, “I just want to make it to the top even if I have to crawl. I want the bumper sticker that says ‘The Person Driving this Car Climbed Mount Washington.’ I want to be able to say I did it. It is metaphorical. My dad’s climbing a proverbial hill. I can make it up a real one.”