Our youngest son, Jake, was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma (a type of liver cancer) in February 2004 during a routine physical when he was 2 years old. In the summer of 2006, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, also during a routine physical. Thanks to the outstanding care we received and the support of our family and friends, both of us made full recoveries and remain in remission today.
My wife, Kimber, and I are extremely grateful to outstanding surgeons Hirikati Nagaraj, M.D., and Sheldon Bond, M.D., and oncologist Salvatore Bertolone, M.D., who cared for Jake at Kosair Children's Hospital. We also want to express our gratitude to the oncologists and radiologists in Louisville who cared for me, as well as Lawrence Loehle, M.D., of Norton Community Medical Associates – Fincastle, who diagnosed my cancer. We appreciate their professional care, knowledge and great sense of humor.
Simply put, my wife and I chose the physician teams we believed would make the best decisions on our behalf to cure our son's cancer and mine. Moving forward, we hope to see continued improvement in cancer treatments for patients of all ages, with reduced short- and long-term side effects.
Being an avid triathlete for almost 20 years and participating in endurance sports most of my life, the Bike to Beat Cancer (benefiting Norton Cancer Institute) seems to be a natural fit for me. I was honored when Dave Kamer asked me to join the ride with him on Team ID and A.
I never missed a training ride during my 18 months of treatment, which consisted of 10 different chemotherapy agents, radiation treatments and an autologous stem cell transplant. Being able to handle adverse conditions, having a strong will to live, a fantastic attitude and great care kept me from ever having a fever or spending a single night in the hospital. Our son, at only 2 years old, was not as fortunate. Jake was hospitalized at every treatment cycle.
Kimber and I feel we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to continue to assist the Children's Hospital Foundation and Norton Cancer Institute to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.