Mike Maldonado, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December of 2009. He has successfully defeated his disease. He is now a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and a Fitness Motivational Speaker.
“I was diagnosed in December of 2009. After dealing with an unrelenting cough and significant weight loss, doctors noticed multiple lumps in my chest and neck area. I quickly underwent X-rays and a neck biopsy which lead to the diagnoses of cancer.”
13, I fell into a diabetic coma. Doctors urged me to become more physically active so at the age of 16 I began lifting weights. By the age of 18, the tables turned and I found out that I had Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer spread from the neck, chest, right lung, stomach and had already attacked the bone marrow in my hip.
Doctors predicted that with intensive chemotherapy I may be able to prolong my life for 2 years. After 6 months of chemotherapy treatments, the tumors continued to grow. Facing the possibility of death I felt like I was walking in total darkness. Somewhere along the road, I managed to find a spark, a spark that led me back to fitness. After the chemotherapy failed to work, doctors proceeded to try a Stem Cell Transplant. Doctors harvested the cells out of my body in hopes of retrieving 20% of the cells cancer free.
After the harvest was completed doctors were amazed to see that 110% of my cells came back cancer free. The following week I underwent a series of intensive chemo treatments for 7 days. On the 7th day, we infused the cancer-free cells back into my body hoping to kickstart my entire immune system. Doctors predicted it would take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to fully recover, my body began to reproduce cancer-free cells 8 days later. The following 3 months consisted of daily radiation treatments to minimize the chances of having the cancer return. After a total of two years undergoing intensive treatments and operations, I managed to overcome the disease.”
Motivation to fight cancer
“This victory wouldn’t have been possible without all the support and endless motivation by my friends and loved ones “
“I feel the toughest challenge throughout this whole ordeal was battling the doubt of survival and fear of giving up. Being a type 1 diabetic surfaced many obstacles and complicated much of the treatments and recovery.”
Message to other cancer patients
“The best message I can give to those that are also struggling is to have a healthy mindset. Your mind can overcome any obstacle and your body can overcome anything you set your mind to.”