Melissa ‘Mo’ and her family from Poteau, OK
Mo lost her battle to lymphoma cancer just before the May 12, 2018 cruise in Arkansas/Oklahoma. The Arklahoma event was able to help her husband and two precious little girls during what we can only assume was the worst time of their life.
Chuck Wulf and his family attended the fall 2017, spring 2018, and fall 2018 Minnesconsin cancer cruises. Chuck was a cancer survivor and a recipient of a donation from the Minnesconsin event in the fall of 2017. Chuck’s family has attended and volunteered at each of these cruises and although Chuck lost his battle in November 2018, he will always be with us in spirit and in our hearts….his family will attend future cruises and support those who are still fighting. Several of his son’s and daughter in laws are volunteering and helping to put on the Minnesconsin events.
Natalie was a 6 year old that had lived with chronic ear infections most hear young life. It was decided that she needed her tonsils out to hopefully end the cycle of her being sick all the time. In preparation for her tonsillectomy she needed a pre-op physical. It was on this day, May 1999 that will have forever changed Natalie’s life.
Blood work was done and it came back off the charts so they ran it again. Next thing we know is we’re headed to Children’s Hospital St Paul oncology for further testing. The Dr’s came up with a plan quickly and Natalie would head to The University of Minnesota for a bone marrow transplant. She was diagnosed with an adult form of leukemia called Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and the only treatment at that time treatment was full body radiation and high dose chemo for a few weeks.
It was 1 very long year post treatment, 22 admissions to the hospital. Mouth sores, numerous infections but Natalie made it. She recovered and lived 16 years cancer free.
Then April 2016 her cancer journey started again. This time it was Thyroid cancer due to the full body radiation from her leukemia treatment. The treatment for her thyroid cancer included radioactive iodine, several major neck surgeries and lots of tests and scans. The resilience and strength that Natalie continues to show is remarkable. She’s continued to take college courses to become a nurse and working when she can throughout her treatment and surgeries. This cancer journey isn’t over for Natalie and will continue for quite some time.
Those that have rallied around Natalie throughout her journey would like to thank this organization for all they do to help cancer patients. I hope you realize what you do makes a big difference. — From Natalie’s Mom