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Every patient has a story.

The "I'm Not Average" campaign features fellow Americans whose lives have been impacted by treatments and cures for debilitating, chronic, or rare diseases.

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I'm Not Average: Michael J.

Condition:
Kidney Cancer Survivor


Age:
39


Location:
Ashburn, Virginia


I'll never forget the day we discovered that my precious husband's life was in danger.


In April of 2013, Mike decided he wanted to expand his garden. Since the ground where we live consists of mostly rock and shale, this was hard labor. He started out in the morning and chipped away with his pickaxe, hauling wheel barrels full of broken shale to the back of our property. That night, Mike began to feel terrible pain in his side and back. A few days later during an ER visit, an ultrasound and x-ray found a large kidney stone. But there was also a small mass on the kidney. The kidney stone explained the pain, and we didn't think much of the mass. After surgery to remove the kidney stones, more tests were ordered on Mike's kidneys. Soon after that, our doctor told us that Mike had kidney cancer. The room began to shrink. My breathing increased. Waves of tears filled our eyes and anxiety took over as we digested the news. Our world had just turned upside-down. Thankfully, the cancer had been detected early enough that the treatment, while invasive, was relatively simple. Today, Mike is cancer free and continues to receive routine check-ups. Our experience reminds me every day that life should be lived in full as you never know what tomorrow brings. We are grateful to be in God's hands, to have him watch after Mike and our family. Mike's love of gardening may have actually saved his life.

Condition:
Kidney Cancer Survivor


Age:
39


Location:
Ashburn, Virginia

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Make your voice heard. Join the important discussion on the value and economic impact of new medicines.


connect with PhRMA...

Make your voice heard. Join the important discussion on the value and economic impact of new medicines.


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