Mike’s Story

Site created on December 21, 2018

In October 2018, Mike had to take a blood test as part of a cardiology exam following a few stints he had received over the summer. His last blood test had been in August and everything had presented fine. A couple of months later his white blood cell count was problematic. He had a bone marrow biopsy and was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He's been confined to his house ever since as his immune system is seriously compromised and he can not be around any germs. It was caught far earlier than typical because of this follow-up cardiology exam. Because of this time frame, the first course of action was outpatient chemotherapy delivered via seven days of shots. On a follow-up bone marrow biopsy, to see if this treatment was effective, a new crop of mutated white blood cells had emerged that were far more aggressive than the first ones, were duplicating rapidly, and were immune to the first treatment. He is now in Fairfax Hospital for the next month receiving a far more aggressive round of chemotherapy, and one that we are thankful for as it's just recently become available. He will be staying at Fairfax Hospital as 1) he has developed a fever and the best way to treat this is at the hospital 2) the current round of chemo will have a much stronger reaction and having fulltime care to assist whenever needed is best. Our mom is staying with him fulltime, Mike (Jr) is there daily and Liza is flying in about every 10 days. Our prayer is that this second treatment be effective and we will know this by the end of January. At that point, he will start looking for a bone marrow transplant as he continues this course of treatment. Our prayer is that his body remains strong and his attitude positive. 


We have all received an outpouring of love and requests for more information and a desire to help. THANK YOU so much! This is our request: please text and email but with the knowledge that we may not reply. Please don't be offended. That does not mean your messages are not being read and cherished, it simply means we're a bit overwhelmed. We ask that you look here for updates instead of texting/emailing/calling Kit, Mike, Mike Jr and Liza asking for updates. They all want your emails/text/voicemails of love and support, but updates will be coming on this page as often as we can and whenever there is new information.  THANK YOU so much for understanding!


For visitors for Mike: it's only immediate family to protect him from outside viruses. When this treatment works, and his bone marrow transplant is successful, believe me, Mike will want a party and we'll all celebrate then!


So much love to everyone, 
Liza and Mike on behalf of Kit & Mike

Newest Update

Journal entry by Liza Graves

To all our dad's friends, families and supporters over the years and through his battle with cancer, we wanted to make sure we sent out the details on his obituary and the way we will celebrate his life this upcoming week.

  • A gathering for family and friends will be held on September 19, 2019, at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home 9902 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Memorial Service will be on September 20, 2019, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 6509 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015 at 3 p.m. Reception immediately following.

Michael W. Thompson Sr. of Springfield, Virginia, passed away peacefully at Johns Hopkins Hospital on September 7, 2019 surrounded by family at his side after an almost year-long fight with leukemia.

Born May 3, 1946, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Mike was the third of Charlie and Dorothy Thompson’s four sons: Charles Jr. (Rusty), Fred, and Curt. Known for his sharp wit, keen intellect and sense of humor, he was also known for his big heart and infectious laugh. From a young age, Mike was drawn to politics. He became involved in Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) while at the University of Missouri where he received his MBA. It was at one of these events that he met the love of his life, Katherine (Kit) Baggett of Daytona Beach, Florida. As his involvement in conservative politics grew, he became a national officer in YAF and the chairman of the National Student Committee for Victory in Vietnam. He also served as Ronald Reagan's national youth coordinator when Reagan ran for President in 1968.

Mike and Kit married and soon started a family with the birth of their son, Mike Jr. They moved to Fairfax County, Virginia in 1970 where they raised their son and daughter, Liza, who was born in 1972. They would often spend long parts of their summers at the family cabin in Balsam, North Carolina where extended family gathered each summer. In Balsam, he became known for his near-professional level firework displays which he continued until 2019 when he was hospitalized.

In 1971, Mike began working for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. Soon after Liza's birth, Mike founded the Thompson Creative Marketing Group, a nationally recognized marketing and public affairs company.

Known for his love of America and the many cultures that make her great, Mike sponsored a Vietnamese family in 1975, after the fall of Saigon, who lived with his family in Burke, Virginia and became part of their extended family; they remain friends to this day.

Mike sold his company after 24 years and founded the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. He served as President and Chairman until 2019. This foundation is the state’s premier independent public policy foundation.

Mike was known for his love of people, parties, gardening and movies. He never stopped learning and was known to interrupt family conversations with an interesting fact that he was reading from one of the many papers he enjoyed each morning. He had a wonder for the universe and excelled at the art of friendly discussions often with differences of opinion.

Mike is survived by his wife, Kit; his son Mike Thompson, Jr. and his wife Maureen (Burke, Virginia), and their two daughters Katie and Abby; his daughter Liza Graves and her husband Jay (Nashville, Tennessee), and their children Mary-Blake, Reese and Charlie; and by his brothers Rusty, Fred, and Curt as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mike’s many other accomplishments include:

  • Mike was an active leader in the Virginia Republican Party, often acting as an informal advisor to Governors, Senators, Congressman, Delegates, State Senators, and county Supervisors. He also served in many leadership capacities at the state and local level. Among these included serving on the State Central Committee and as First and Third Vice Chairman as well as Springfield District Chairman for the Fairfax County Republican Committee. He was named by Campaigns and Elections magazine as one of the 30 most influential non-elected Republicans in Virginia.
  • He served as Vice Chairman of the internationally renowned Fund for American Studies working with college and university student leaders, and high school teachers and students, to promote a market economy, free political systems, and civic responsibility and involvement.
  • He was the president of the Mather Furniture Company, a family-owned business in Georgia.
  • He was the past Chairman of the Virginia Leadership Council, the state’s Board of Directors for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and served on its Board of Directors for many years.
  • He served on the Virginia Attorney General’s Regulation Reform Commission in 2008-2009. He was a member of Governor McDonnell’s transition team in 2009 and was Governor’s Advisor to his Government Reform Commission from 2010 to 2014.
  • He was active in his community and served three terms as President of the Springfield District Council, an organization representing over 200 homeowner associations.
  • He served many years on the Executive Committee of the Fairfax Federation of Civic Associations (the umbrella organization for all homeowner associations in Fairfax County).
  • He helped found the Occoquan Watershed Coalition in Fairfax County and for many years remained on the Board of Directors.
  • He was the Governor’s appointee to the Small Business Assistance Compliance Advisory Board for the Department of Environmental Quality, served on the Board of Directors for several years of the Washington, DC area chapter of the National Kidney Foundation, and served on several Fairfax County commissions and task forces.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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