Farwell brothers both fighting cancer

February 27, 2015

Mike Coronado (left) and Danny Coronado (right)

Mike Coronado (left) and Danny Coronado (right)

By Pat Maurer

Imagine finding out your child has cancer. Then imagine the worry, the treatments, juggling doctor and hospital visits, all while dealing with the pain and stress your child – and the whole family – is suffering through.

Now just double all of that and you might have an idea of what one Farwell family, Tamara and Brad Mallery and sons Michael, 19, and Daniel Coronado, 18, are going through right now.

Both boys were diagnosed with cancer last fall.
Michael was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma September 2nd, just after his first few days as a Delta College student.

Also called Hodgkin ’s disease, it is a type of lymphoma, in which cancer originates from white blood cells called lymphocytes. The disease occurrence shows two peaks: the first in young adulthood (age 15–35) and the second in those over 55 years old. The overall five-year survival rate in the United States for 2004–2010 is 85 percent.

A 2013 graduate of Farwell High School, Mike’s college education has been put on hold while he has been going through six months of bi-weekly infusion treatments with another four months to go. The cancer of the blood was in stage 2 when it was diagnosed. “He hasn’t beaten it yet,” his mother Tammy said. “We recently found out he has an enlarged lymph node right behind his heart. We will find out March 5 if he will have surgery or another type of treatment for it.”

“Finding out Mike had Hodgkin’s was devastating,” said his mother Tammy. “Then just 45 days later we found out Danny had cancer too.”

Tammy Mallery, Mike and Danny's mother.

Tammy Mallery, Mike and Danny’s mother.

He was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma. Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer. The two main forms of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Lymphoma occurs when cells of the immune system called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, grow and multiply uncontrollably. There are four types of lymphoma that affect T cells. These account for perhaps one in ten cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. With intensive chemotherapy, the complete remission rate can be very high.

Daniel is a senior at Farwell High School. After a check-up for an enlarged lymph node in his neck, he was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma. Danny’s projected 18 months of treatment started October 15. He is treated with anti-viral medication and oral chemotherapy medication weekly and treated monthly by infusions through a port. Doctors said because Mike was already diagnosed, Danny got an early diagnosis of his cancer.

Tammy said doctors believe the lymphoma both sons suffer from is genetic. She has lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.

Both boys get treatment at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Tammy and husband Brad have been taking it one day at a time. In an average week, she said there are two to three appointments to get to for blood draws, scans, chemotherapy treatments and checkups. “So many times we have to split up the boys,” she said. “I go one direction with one and Brad goes another direction with the other son.”
Both Mike and Danny are handling the situation surprisingly well, Tammy said. “They both have an extreme mind set to get through this.” She continued, “Doctors have said they are young, strong and healthy and the chances are good for them to beat the cancers.”

The brothers both have plans for the future. After graduation Danny will attend either Oakland University of Ferris State next year, where he hopes to begin his studies towards a law degree. Mike hopes to continue college with on-line classes.

“Danny has had a harder time dealing with having cancer,” she said. “He is a quiet, private person and doesn’t like everyone to know about it. He is dealing with it better now though,” she added.

Tammy said Mike is having a harder time with the reaction to treatment. Some of his medication had to be stopped because it was damaging his heart. “He has had more problems with the chemo and has lost weight,” she added. “He is tired most of the time.”.

Danny is still attending school although with treatments and other appointments it makes for a busy schedule. “I am extremely proud of him,” Tammy said. “Since school started he has only missed about eight days and most of those were for appointments.”

The family has had a lot of support from friends and the close knit Farwell community.
One friend, Dustin Bauer, came up with an idea to help out. Together with about 10 to 12 other classmates, friends and teammates ranging in age from 16 to 18, the group put together a special benefit for Mike and Danny at the Moose Lodge last Saturday. Both of the Coronado brothers attended the benefit, which raised about $10,000 to help out with the costs of their treatment. Proceeds from a basketball game and a benefit dance at Farwell High School added another $2.000 to the funds raised for the family.
And, it’s not over yet. Another fundraiser at Red’s Oakridge station will offer low, low prices for gasoline and a “full-service” crew of students to service each vehicle while accepting donations. “They will pump gas for tips,” Tammy said.

She also said SAL, the Sons of American Legion, will sponsor a bowling tournament at Gateway Lanes with all proceeds from the event going to the family.
“The benefit last Saturday was amazing,” Tammy said. It was standing room only. I can’t express my appreciation enough to the students who are helping the boys through these fundraisers.”

She continued, “And the school system at Farwell has been beyond amazing with support from staff members who watch over Danny, and go out of their way to help whenever we need it. This amazing Farwell community has also stepped up for us. Over 100 businesses and community members have donated to help our family.”

Tammy, Brad, Mike and Danny have lived in Farwell for seven years, moving here from the Beaverton area. Tammy is originally from West Branch. The couple also have an older son Steven, who lives in Glennie, MI.

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