“If I didn’t have my trainer I probably wouldn’t be motivated to exercise.”

 Dan is a 71 year old Green Bay Packer fan who recently celebrated 51 years of marriage with his wife, Sharon.

Our story with him began in 2018.

One day, Dan complained of something on his tongue that prevented him from swallowing. He resisted, but his wife urged him to get it checked out by a doctor. This is one case where nagging, er…..persistence, pays off!  Just a few weeks later, Dan was diagnosed with tongue and throat cancer.

Dan underwent treatment at Kettering Hospital under the care of Dr. Higgins for chemotherapy and Dr. Paravati for radiation. In total, Dan would endure 35 radiation treatments and 7 rounds of chemotherapy. Dan commends the skills of his medical experts, along with his wife, and God’s will for still being around.

Eventually, Dan finished his treatment and started up at Maple Tree.

“When he first walked in the door, Dan was on a feeding tube and had an excessive amount of lymphedema that had developed around his throat and jaw” said Dan’s traner, Derik.

Because of this, Dan’s main goal was to be able to eat normal food again and to be relieved of the discomfort that his lymphedema caused him. Dan also wanted to gain weight and become stronger, as he was extremely underweight.

Dan told us that the decision to start at Maple Tree was by no means an easy one! “During this period, I was really in no shape to make any real decisions on anything. Chemo brain was doing a number on me, and the radiation messed up the back of my tongue and throat to the point I wasn’t eating… I consequently lost 43 pounds… I remember Drs. Higgins and Paravati stressing the fact that I needed to eat.  My wife was relentless in her efforts to get me to eat more. But it was quite painful and nothing had much taste. So it was a struggle,” Dan recounts.

Dan has now been a part of the Maple Tree family for over a year! He says that his trainer, Derik, is the reason for him continuing on with the program. “He has me doing exercises mostly I have not tried before. He is working on everything.  His positive attitude is refreshing and contagious. And he has become a good friend.  I look forward to our sessions very much,” says Dan.

Since his diagnosis, exercise has really helped Dan improve his quality of life. His hard work is really paying off! Dan has experienced a 32.26% increase in muscular strength, a 26.19% increase in cardiovascular fitness, a 57.14% increase in muscular endurance, and a 25% increase in flexibility!

“Derik has me gaining strength and flexibility and I see that exercise is wonderful for what ails you,” says Dan. “He is showing me different ways of approaching health issues through exercise.  I feel much better since we started the program. I am very grateful…”.

Derik had this to say about Dan and his progress; “Over the course of working with Dan, he has not only overcome his lymphedema, which is almost completely gone, but he can now eat without a feeding tube! He has gained incredible strength and even gained a few pounds in the process! His spirit is higher than ever and he looks forward to his exercise sessions every week, not only to still try to become stronger, but also because he enjoys seeing every person here at Maple Tree as much as we enjoy seeing him.”

When we asked Dan if there was anything he would like to say to the medical community or prospective patients he said this:

“The folks at Maple Tree have worked with me to the point that I am very close as far as strength and flexibility to what I was before the cancer diagnosis. The facilities are top notch.  All of the people that I have met through this program have been exceptional in their efforts to improve my quality of life.  Special kudos go to Derik, ‘cause if I didn’t have him I would probably not be very motivated to do any exercises and I would be in lousy shape because of it.

 I think the program at Maple Tree is exceptional, with exceptional facilities and exceptional people. Don’t stop.  Please do everything you can to help maintain this environment. I will give my positive reviews to anyone that would be interested.

 Finally, thank you very much for taking such good care of me. And please give a special thank you to Derik.  I continue to be impressed by him and his work and really look forward to our sessions.  Thank you, Derik!” – Dan

 Congratulations Dan!  Thank you for your trust in our patient programs. We are honored to serve you and help you in any way we can!