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3 Kids, a Wife, and Dead at 46. Cancer. This is unfortunately a story too common to many families. I was born into this reality, my father diagnosed right after my birth. I grew up knowing my father from my first memory a man with one lung, no hair, and the top of his head, a skull cap that looked like a jack-o-lantern.
In the 1980’s most any Cancer Diagnosis was a hope and a prayer for survival. He had Large Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer. The Survival Rate for 5 Years was less than 2 Percent. He beat the odds at 5 years. Only to perish at 6 and ½ years. He tried everything that could possibly save his lifeExperimental Radiation, Chemotherapy, to a Holistic Diet. Though none would prove to be a cure.
Fast Forward to November 2013. I was sitting in a hospital bed getting a CAT Scan after I had chest pains, and my heart wouldn’t stop racing day or night. The Doctor told me I had a tumor on my heart, the size of a grapefruit. This was the longest night of my life. Manic, repetitive thoughts of “This is the End”, wouldn’t stop. My poor Fiancé was laying by my side, praying all night.
To the miracle of modern medicine I was diagnosed with a curable cancer , T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a blood cancer. To my astonishment the doctors told me the chemotherapy, would reduce the tumor to almost nothing. After 3 years of Chemo, with 1 year of hard chemo, I am done, and free of cancer.
I am one of the Lucky Ones. For all of the advancements in Cancer Research there are still so many diagnosis’s like my father. According to the CDC, over 42% Of all Cancer diagnosis’s are considered “Orphan Cancers”, rare cancers that don’t have any treatment path or “model”. Covers for Cancer is dedicated to my father Gregory J. Pretsch Sr., his fighting spirit, and all the others like him.
Covers for Cancers was brought about to help those with no fighting chance to have one, and to one day our deepest wish is to cure all cancers.