Michael's Graduation to Life Without Cancer
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Michael Albrecht is a two-time cancer survivor and an award-winning activist. First diagnosed at the young age of 14, Michael fought Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Even through lengthy courses of treatment, he found a way to not only stay positive, but also give back to other youth battling cancer. He held fundraisers, performed volunteer work, and shared his story at cancer-related events.
Michael remained cancer-free for three years until January 29, 2019, when tumors appeared in his lungs. He was told the disease was going to be tougher to fight. Michael was given a fifteen percent chance of living. He also knew that by battling cancer, he would be missing some of the most exciting times of his life like the last semester of his senior year in high school.
During his senior year, Michael learned he was a recipient of the prestigious US Presidential Scholar Program that recognizes only 161 graduating seniors from across the country. This award included a trip to Washington DC for the induction ceremony. "This was a very hurtful thing to pass up", Michael admitted.
In June, Michael was given a stem cell transplant. "Most of the time was terrible, but there is a silver lining to it all. I was able to create my very own unique memories, which has made my life more thrilling”, he concluded. While Michael had the opportunity to celebrate his high school prom before entering the hospital, his sister walked in his place for graduation as Michael watched the live-stream from the hospital. Inside Edition aired segments of the event on national television. As for his Presidential Scholar Ceremony, Michael had his own induction ceremony.
Initially, during Michael's treatment, the nodules increased in size and then began to decrease dramatically. Just last week, Michael and his family discovered that all of the nodules in his lungs had vanished. This very rare occurrence has left Michael and his medical team more optimistic about his future.
Michael has always been a strong believer in prayers and benedictions. Without them, Michael believes, he would not be alive today. Michael stated, "A person's mentality has an immense impact on one's health. By staying positive and interacting with a group of people who support my journey, I feel assured that I have done all I can to live a happy and full life, no matter how long it lasts".
Today, Michael is pursuing more volunteer opportunities and hobbies, as well as preparing for the winter quarter at the University of Washington. Michael just finished celebrating his good health by vacationing in Disneyland with his two sisters. He wants to wish everyone reading this a Happy Holiday season and the strength and courage to overcome the hardships that they may be facing.