Mitchell’s Story

Site created on December 14, 2018

"It all began April 15, 1995..." No, just kidding! If you've found your way to this site then you know Mitch and most of his story. To bring you up to speed with what the heck happened and how we found ourselves here we need to step back to beginning of October 2018. Mitch had worked out one night and woke up the next morning with strange back pain. He brushed it off as a mild injury and started stretching and doing low impact exercises to help ease the pain. The pain didn't stop. On October 8th, 2018 we entered the emergency room due to excruciating back and lower body pain. After 16 hours in the ER we left with heavy pain meds and some odd bloodwork. A few weeks later Mitch had blood redrawn to still see some abnormalities. He received a referral to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to get his blood retested. We had the appointment, went out to a late lunch and just as we were 20 minutes away (we live 2 hours south of Walter Reed) we received a phone call instructing us to come back for more testing. When we got to Walter Reed, we were greeted and given a room to settle into. A few moments later we were told Mitch has what they thought was leukemia. Based on the bone marrow biopsy, the initial diagnosis is confirmed. Mitch is now fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and he is here to win.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Kirsi Cochell

Hi all!  Just stopping by to give you a quick update.  Mitch received news from his liaison about his medical evaluation board (MEB).  If you've been following along with this journey you'll know that this Mitch had exhausted his third and final appeal to the Secretary of the Air Force (SAF) to try to stay active duty.  We are so overwhelmed with joy to share that the SAF MEB decided to retain Mitch and keep him on active duty!!!

This is exactly what Mitch has been appealing and fighting for since day 1.  There were many days we considered going the easy route and accepting the temporary retirement that was given to him, but neither of us felt like that was meant to be our path.  This MEB decision has easily been our biggest worry within the last few months.  This decision has allowed us to BREATHE again.  We have had amazing support, not only from you all but from all of Mitch's command, all of Mitch's doctors and nurses and Mitch's social worker.  THANK YOU everyone for your love and prayers throughout this crazy journey.  All of our prayers have been answered!

Moving forward that means Mitch will finish out his assignment at Pax River.  Once his assignment at Pax is up, we will be (happily) moving wherever the Air Force decides to place us!  This change in assignment/base will come sometime next summer.

We will be sure to keep you all updated as to how treatment is going (still well!) and any changes that come our way.  Thank you again for the love, support and prayers!
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