From the recurrence of congressman Jim Hagedorn’s kidney cancer to a 100-mile bike race for charity, here’s what’s happening in the cancer landscape this week.
Republican Representative of Minnesota, Jim Hagedorn, shared this Wednesday that his kidney cancer has returned.
He was originally diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in February 2019 and just 14 weeks ago was told no cancer was detected. Hagedorn has been receiving care at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic.
"Since initially being diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer 29 months ago, my doctors consider my response to treatment and recovery as exceptional. Since that time, I have maintained a full, active schedule in Congress, campaigned aggressively for re-election, and lived and enjoyed life to the fullest," he said in a statement.
Hagedorn said he plans to continue to serve the people of Minnesota’s First Congressional District with the highest enthusiasm. He and his doctors are also hopeful about a new FDA-approved treatment for his cancer type.
"I encourage anyone who has missed annual medical exams and cancer screenings to please make an appointment today,” he stressed. “It could save your life."
Ryan Ravestein, 3, recently returned to her family home in Ohio after spending more than 100 nights straight at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for cancer treatments.
During her long days in the hospital, Ravestein and her brother AJ worked on a sock design for a national competition. The competition was being held through Resilience Gives, a nonprofit that donates a pair of socks to the children’s hospital every time the winning sock design is purchased.
Ravestein and her brother’s design, ‘Dancing Bananas,’ won the contest, meaning their design will be turned into socks for pediatric patients across the U.S.
“Support that organization and just all kids going through, you know, pediatric cancer or just any traumatic disease like that,” Brett Ravestein, Ryan’s mother, told Fox 8.
Bruce Lowe, who has survived three different cancers, is using his survivorship to raise money and inspire others.
“My doctor told me that I had stage 4 incurable bone cancer and had only two years to live. That was seven years ago,” Lowe told Norton Healthcare. “I am now cancer-free, and I do all I can to assist others in their journey through this devastating disease. Raising money is just one small thing that I can do to help others.”
Lowe, who received his treatment at Norton Cancer Institute, vowed to become a participant in the Bike to Beat Cancer event while in treatment. Since then, he’s been a committed participant for over six years. Though he was too weak from chemotherapy treatments to ride in 2014, he volunteered instead. The following year, Lowe rode 35 miles and volunteered after.
Each year since then, Lowe has ridden 65 miles. His goal this year is to ride 100.
“Sharing is one of the best things we (survivors) can do,” said Lowe. “To hear the stories and determination of survivors to beat cancer and not to just survive but to thrive … is so encouraging.”
Lowe shared that the encouragement of others around him kept him going during the ride, especially when struggling over the last few hills.
“I met a woman on one of the rides who was struggling to make it on the ride,” he said. “She had just finished her chemo and really didn’t have the strength to ride yet, but she had such determination. I was trying to motivate her, but I got motivated by her.”
Lowe spends much of his free time training during the year. The event is meaningful to him, as cancer has had a huge impact on not only him but his family. When he was 21, his father died from leukemia, which Lowe says left a “hole in his heart.”
“During my lifetime the word cancer went from meaning a death sentence to being treatable and beatable,” he added.
Ryder Klop, 10, fell off a tall fence last summer, landing on his stomach. The scary accident ended up being an extremely lucky discovery of a tumor.
Klop didn’t want to go to the doctor at the time, but his mother, Brittany, said she couldn’t wait after he woke up crying from pain after the incident. He was rushed to get a PET scan, which revealed his intestine was ruptured. He then was sent to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for an emergency operation.
During the surgery, Klop’s surgeon discovered a softball-sized tumor in his intestines. He was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma on August 10.
“This is one of the fastest-growing tumors — one of the most deadly ones, too,” Brittany told EastIdahoNews.com. “If you don’t catch it in time, he’s gone. I heard it could grow 10 times in 18 hours. If he didn’t fall, we’d have had no clue.”
The doctors also found a second, smaller tumor near his bladder. He began biweekly treatments at the hospital. In November, he was declared cancer-free.
Eight months after ringing the bell to celebrate being cancer-free, Klop and his family got to travel to Yellowstone National Park in a rented RV through Make-A-Wish Idaho.
“They are going to go on a fishing trip,” said Make-A-Wish Idaho Regional Director Julie Thomas. “They’re going to go to the wolf exhibit and they’re going to stop at Bear World.”
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