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Munster, Indiana


My name is Milan. In March I decided to go on a diet. My normal weight fluctuated between 192 and 195 pounds. At that point I had gotten all the way to 217 pounds, so I decided to do something about it. My friend has a protein-based diet and I started on that. By the middle of May I had lost about 30 pounds and was feeling great. Actually I’ve never felt better.

Then one night in May I was taking a shower and felt a large bump under my armpit. My wife and I immediately turned to the Internet and there was nothing good to be found there, which really scared me.

The next morning I went to my family doctor and from there we started the testing. About a week later the tests came back with a diagnosis of Malignant Melanoma. A local doctor told me that it was basically over and that he thought the tumor had spread. I was confused and shaken up and didn’t really know what to do.

I recall it was a Monday night around 9:00 p.m. when I found out what I had. Tuesday morning I was headed to the doctors with my friend who drove up there with me. I hope anyone reading this never experiences what I was going through, but I actually was in survival mode. My main priority was staying alive. I felt as if I didn’t have much time and the clock was ticking. I always said that if I die tomorrow, I’ve lived a great life, and God blessed me with everything. I’ve done more and seen more than some people in their 80’s; but now it was different because I had a wife and two small children who depend on me. When I was single I had different priorities, and now my focus is on my family. 

My wife was in tears the morning I left for the doctor. I missed my daughter’s pre-school graduation; but my main goal was to survive and see another day. I got there and met my wonderful team of doctors. My first question to the doctors was, “what are my chances for survival?” The doctors explained what melanoma was and how dangerous it is.

I realized there was more to life than the material things I was used to and liked……fancy cars, homes, watches, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I still like those things but they’re not important anymore. Helping people and giving back is my number one priority. I’m so grateful to my oncologist and his team for helping me stay alive that I decided I was going to try and help other people do the same thing.

Thank you,