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Survivor Stories

Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor Now Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Motivational Speaker


mike hodgkin lymphoma survivor

Favourite quote:

“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.”

 -Hercules

Mike Maldonado, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December of 2009. He has successfully defeated his disease. He is now a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and a Fitness Motivational Speaker.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed in December of 2009. After dealing with an unrelenting cough and significant weight loss, doctors noticed multiple lumps in my chest and neck area.  I quickly underwent X-rays and a neck biopsy which lead to the diagnoses of cancer.”

The Journey 

mike hodgkin lymphoma survivor journey

“I’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic since the age of 4. By the age of 13, I fell into a diabetic coma. Doctors urged me to become more physically active so at the age of 16 I began lifting weights. By the age of 18, the tables turned and I found out that I had Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer spread from the neck, chest, right lung, stomach and had already attacked the bone marrow in my hip.

Doctors predicted that with intensive chemotherapy I may be able to prolong my life for 2 years. After 6 months of chemotherapy treatments, the tumors continued to grow. Facing the possibility of death I felt like I was walking in total darkness. Somewhere along the road, I managed to find a spark, a spark that led me back to fitness. After the chemotherapy failed to work, doctors proceeded to try a Stem Cell Transplant. Doctors harvested the cells out of my body in hopes of retrieving 20% of the cells cancer free.

After the harvest was completed doctors were amazed to see that 110% of my cells came back cancer free. The following week I underwent a series of intensive chemo treatments for 7 days. On the 7th day, we infused the cancer-free cells back into my body hoping to kickstart my entire immune system. Doctors predicted it would take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to fully recover, my body began to reproduce cancer-free cells 8 days later. The following 3 months consisted of daily radiation treatments to minimize the chances of having the cancer return. After a total of two years undergoing intensive treatments and operations, I managed to overcome the disease.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“This victory wouldn’t have been possible without all the support and endless motivation by my friends and loved ones “

Biggest hindrance

“I feel the toughest challenge throughout this whole ordeal was battling the doubt of survival and fear of giving up. Being a type 1 diabetic surfaced many obstacles and complicated much of the treatments and recovery.”

Message to other cancer patients

mike hodgkin lymphoma survivor message

“The best message I can give to those that are also struggling is to have a healthy mindset. Your mind can overcome any obstacle and your body can overcome anything you set your mind to.”

If you also want to share your survivor story to inspire fighters across the globe, then please mail us, so that we can share the details with you. 

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