Jan 16, 2022 Latest post:
Apr 19, 2023
After almost four years in France and two years in Chicago, Derek and Sonia moved back “home” to Denver, Colorado in 2020. They’ve enjoyed hitting the slopes, hiking the mountains and hanging out with life-long friends.
Part of what Sonia and Derek love about Colorado is the get-outside-and-stay-fit culture. Derek signed up for a half Ironman (1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run). After a few months of intense training with a running group and biking 55-mile routes up Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO, Derek felt like he was “in the best shape of his life.”
Derek was cutting down his mile times and getting stronger, but at the same time he was starting to get pain in his chest and stomach. The pain was intermittent for the first month. However, by the end of October, the pain was intense and more consistent. It got to the point that he had difficulty sleeping at night. After a few weeks of tests and checking diagnoses off the list—acid reflux, ulcer, gallstones, Derek’s doctors ordered an abdominal CT scan. The scan showed a mass in his pancreas and lesions on his liver, resulting in a diagnosis of Stage 4, Pancreatic Cancer.
Now Derek is training for a new race. A very unexpected and shocking race—the fight against cancer. Intense swims, runs and bike rides are now replaced with chemo, integrative medication, and prayer.
Based on Derek’s age and fitness status, he was able to start an aggressive form of chemo. The chemo treatments last for two days and are every two weeks, for the next three months. Like any good athlete, he changed up his diet to focus on more fruits, veggies, fish and chicken. Meditation, prayer, Reiki and acupuncture are all part of his training regimen.
Derek has faith, strength, and a positive outlook. He is poised and ready to “run the race” against cancer with his dedicated support team—his loving wife Sonia, his family, and tons of wonderful friends like you all!