Gist Survivor Now An Author And Motivational Speaker


“ When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it!” -Steve Mcqueen

Merak was diagnosed with genetic GIST cancer. He has successfully defeated his disease. He is an Author and Motivational Speaker and also hosts MMMotivate podcast. He started MMMotivate to help motivate and inspire other cancer patients.

The Diagnosis

He was diagnosed in November 2014, through his Doctor’s Phone Call.

The Journey

“My dad was diagnosed with cancer shortly before me. He was given months to live and ended up living 4 years. It was soon after his diagnosis discovered that it was a generic form of cancer. I found out after being out of breath and anaemic, I indeed had cancer. I was diagnosed with genetic GIST cancer (pronounced JIST), meaning my type of cancer was considered incurable.

I have had 4 surgeries over a 4 year span. 2 partial gastrectomies (2014,2015), a total gastrectomy in 2016, lasting nearly 10 hours. Then I had an emergency splenectomy this year 2018, after nearly bleeding out as it ruptured (my spleen). I’ve had dozens of transfusions, countless scans, blood tests, ER visits, minor procedures, 22 rounds of chemo, and all the other things that go with having cancer.

Now as my fight nears 4 years in October, I can reflect on how lucky I am. I don’t have a stomach, gallbladder, spleen, part of my liver, but I still keep fighting and trying to live a normal life. I’m lucky to be able to do most of what I want to in terms of travel and experiences.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My biggest motivation to fight cancer was for 3 people. 1st my father. We lost him a year ago after he lived for 4 years after being told he only had months to live. He was a titan, took no BS from anyone, and kept his head down and just worked. Over 30 rounds or chemo, completing the tour of palm springs centenial 100 mile race the day AFTER CHEMO, he was strong as strong could be.

Next my mom, who is my biggest supporter, fighting to raise money for gist cancer research and who never leaves my side whenever I am in the hospital or ER. She has the patience of a saint and a heart of gold. Last but not least my beautiful girlfriend who has stuck with me through the whole experience, all 4 years. She makes me want to be well and thrive and beat this disease. She is beautiful, supportive, smart, and loving!”

Biggest hindrance

“The biggest hindrance has to be the nature of my cancer. We finally found a chemo that worked after trying 4, but I am still not cured, and the fight is very much ON for the foreseeable future. I have to stay vigilant and do all that i can to care for myself and stay healthy. We still have faith a cure will be found and will work on my type of GIST CANCER”

Message to other fighters

“My message would have to be: DONT settle for someone saying you are finished, meaning a doctor. Both me and my father were told we would die from our cancers, my father quickly. Everyone’s case is different, so I say to you hold your head up high and always be ready to fight it out and have faith in a positive outcome. You never know what will happen!”

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