Marika Waiters is a veteran that wanted to help others fight the battle against cancer. She chose Stephen’s Soldiers to help in that war and developed the following video to help us. We welcome her to our army in the fight to find a cure. What an inspiration to all of us!
Honored Survivor Story – Todd Schultz
Cancer! Cancer? Are you sure? I am a healthy guy with back pain, just like thousands of guys my age. Sure I need to lose a few pounds, strengthen my core muscles, you mean maybe a round or two of physical therapy but you said cancer. I love life and always have, however I did not respect the fact of how precious it really is and took for granted the time we spend with family and friends. I now truly understand the meaning of living life to the fullest and I cherish the time and look forward to the experiences yet to occur.
This new respect for life started August 16, 2010; I received a call between our two football practices that I was diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I was determined to face this disease head on and convinced my oncologist to begin chemotherapy four days later.
Teaching and coaching are true passions and one of my goals was to lead as normal a life as possible and continue to do those things. My thoughts raced and were all over the place; they often turned to Stephen Vorenberg. He was a survivor of this same disease and an inspiration to our team and community. I have taught and coached thousands of young men and women; however Stephen is a true inspiration. He fought and defeated cancer and returned to the life he loved as a son, brother, friend and student-athlete. Fighting through my cancer, the tables turned and Stephen became my coach imparting knowledge and strength to me. I was fortunate in that my treatments would minimally interfere with my classes and football games. In fact I received the 6-8 hour treatments before the games accompanied by my wife, and then she we would drive me to our game allowing me to coach our team. I fought through chemotherapy, meningitis and an appendectomy all to learn I respect the time we have and I do love life!
My 12 year old son and future Raider, Jack, best summed up these challenges in a paper he wrote last fall for an English class; “The funny thing about cancer is you can let it control you by tearing your family apart or you can do what you can to control it. Right now we’re trying to control it as best we can but we know we’ll make it through.” We have made it through and now I have a new love of life and have found a new strength within myself…Survivor Strength.
Founders Survivor Story – Deborah Huet
We are sorry to say that our dear friend and supporter lost her battle with Pancreatic Cancer in September, 2013. We miss her dearly. Her husband Alan continues to be a major supporter of Stephen’s Soldiers Foundation.
Blessings come in many disguises, because in January 2010 I was diagnosed with salmonella poisoning which led us to the doctor. During that time I also developed jaundice which in March, led to my eventual diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
After the initial shock, we clearly concentrated on what to do, who to see and how do get cured. Thankfully we were lead to Karmanos Cancer Institute and Dr. Philip, who thru his experience in pancreatic cancer studies and research developed a plan for my possible recovery. Statistically the survival rate is less than 10%. Facing these facts we learned to live one day at a time.
I endured a tested chemotherapy treatment for 3 months, followed by 6 weeks of radiation and then was referred to Dr. Doug Evans, a well known and recognized pancreatic cancer surgeon at Froedtert Hospital in Wisconsin. I had a nine hour procedure known as Whipple surgery performed August 2010.
I have a CAT scan every six months and am happy to relay that I am free of pancreatic cancer!
Throughout this ordeal I have referred to “we”. I could not have made it through this alone. “We” includes my supportive husband, family, friends, and coworkers who gave me the emotional support I needed, the doctors and medical professionals who provided the solution, and importantly the people who donate for continued research and clinical trials to improve the success and survival rates of all cancers.
I met Tom Vorenberg thru a business connection and through the years have become friends. He has participated for 10 years in the Hacker Scramble, a charity event my husband and I have supported to help a family member stricken with MS. Following Stephen and his family endure through his illness and become so involved in raising awareness and funds for LLS was inspiring and we had to get involved to help in some way. My husband Alan and I have participated in Stephen’s Soldiers fund raising events and was elated to be included in the launch of the foundation.
I still take one day at a time and am thankful for each one. Please remember your support today is tomorrow’s cure.