Dusk Dash to Support Sam Merkel

The 2015 Metro Milers Dusk Dash proceeds will support Sam Merkel.   Read about Sam's story and please come support him at the 2015 Dusk Dash.

Here is Sam's Story.  For additional info you can see his CaringBridge site at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/samuelmerkel 

Info about the 2015 Metro Milers Dusk Dash can be found in the Dusk Dash section of our site.

Hi,  I'm Sam.  My journey with cancer began after a few months of my knee hurting. I had just graduated from Edwardsville High School and I was looking forward to starting college in the fall   I had an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to get my knee checked out, but unfortunately, I never made it to that appointment.

On the 4th of July, 2013, I fell twice because my leg gave out.  The second time it happened I heard a pop.  We went to Urgent Care where they did many x rays. When the doctor looked over them he knew it wasn't good.  I had a mass above my left knee and that is where my bone broke. We where sent to St Louis Childrens Hospital.

After they checked me out, I was admitted.  I was in a lot of pain. They put a cast on my leg from my ankle up to my groin. My first night was pretty tough.  The next day they did an MRI, CAT Scan, PET Scan, and Chest-Xrays. Our worst fears where confirmed.  I had Osteosarcoma,  Bone Cancer.

I underwent 4 months of in-patient chemotherapy followed by reconstructive surgery on my leg.  The doctors replaced 8 inches of my femur and knee with a prosthesis.  I then had another 4 months of chemotherapy and a lot of physical therapy.  I finished treatments in April 2014.  I spent nine long months in the hospital with very little breaks to be at home.

I was able to enjoy the Summer of 2014 and enrolled in college which had been put off for a year.  I started college in the Fall and was enjoying life as a normal 19 year old when I started experiencing facial numbness one day in October 2014.  I went to St Louis Children's Hospital where my Doctors did an MRI.  It was confirmed that the cancer was back.  The MRI showed a lesion in my skull.  I had a craniotomy in November, but the tumor wasn't able to be removed.  They did biopsy it.  My new tumor was also Osteosarcoma.  It had metastisized to my skull. I underwent Gamma Knife Radiation and more chemotherapy.  When it was time for my next scheduled scans I found out that the Osteosarcoma had also metastisized to my lungs.  

I am currently in a trial at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, Mo.  Im receiving Immunotherapy. I pray everyday for a miracle.  I have received wonderful support and love from my family, friends, church, and community.  I am hoping with more research they will find a better treatment for all childhood cancers and eventually a cure.  No kid should have to go through this.

Created: 29.07.2015
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