For over a decade, cancer played far too large a role in Michael Werner’s life. Between 2008 and 2018, Werner not only lost his father and his best friend from high school to cancer, but also faced a lymphoma diagnosis of his own.
Werner has seen cancer move quickly and take its time. His father was diagnosed in September of 2008 with Stage 4 lung cancer. He passed away less than two months later. His best friend battled cancer for nearly 25 years, going through numerous surgeries and treatments, before passing away in 2018 at age 55. Cancer can take our loved ones quickly. It can take them slowly. But with continued focus on funding cutting-edge research, we can save more lives.
Werner’s life is one that has been saved. In 2013, he fell and broke three ribs in an accident. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“I was very fortunate. The x-ray showed some small, unusual spots on my lung,” said Werner. “After several tests and biopsies, it was determined that I had a form of lymphoma. I received two years of chemotherapy and have had no symptoms of progression since. I get checked every six months and the doctors know what to look for. If they find something, they know how to treat it.”
Werner wanted to get involved in an event that directly benefited cancer research and was inspired by Jim Valvano’s message: “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”® He and his wife had taken up cycling as a hobby in recent years and when they found out about the Victory Ride, it was a natural fit.
“We were intrigued to give back to a cause that my wife and I both believe in,” said Werner. “We want to honor family and friends who have been affected by cancer and hopefully raise a few dollars that may help others.”
Every dollar raised brings us one step closer to Victory Over Cancer®. What would that look like to Werner?
“I hope we can eliminate the surprise or ‘it’s too late’ diagnoses, provide better education on the importance of regular checkups and what to look for, and hopefully improve treatments for all types of cancer to increase survival rates to 100%,” said Werner.
We still have more work to do. We can’t do it alone. Join riders like Michael Werner in the 2022 Victory Ride and help us save more lives.