Mike was a Freshman at Springfield College, Massachusetts in 2004 when his left knee started hurting. Mike had been a volunteer EMT and Firefighter for the previous two years in his home town of Little Silver, NJ and was excited to continue his training and education at Springfield College. While playing frisbee with friends, Mike heard a snap in his knee and was taken to the local ER, where x-rays indicated that he had bone cancer. Three days later, Mike was at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan NYC, where it was confirmed that he had Osteosarcoma* in his left femur, which had also spread to his lungs. Over the next 10 months, Mike endured 18 weeks of high dose chemotherapy, limb salvage surgery to replace his left knee and femur with titanium implants, and two lung surgeries. After treatment, Mike returned to Springfield College and graduated in 2009 with a degree in Emergency Medical Services Management. He had two additional knee replacement surgeries and ensuing rehabilitation in 2009. Mike continues to serve his community as a nationally registered paramedic.
*Osteosarcoma is an aggressive bone tumor that begins in immature bone cells that do not develop into normal bone cells. It is the most common form of pediatric bone cancer, and is typically found in the leg bones, (primarily around the knee), but can be found in arm, shoulder, or other bones, and on rare occasion, outside the bone. There is no known cure for recurrence.