Crush Cancer 2019: Local teen competes against Andy Fox to raise money for cancer cure

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — We’re crushing cancer, and we hope you will join the battle. 

It’s safe to say, everyone is touched by cancer. You may have it, a family member, a friend. So we are out spreading the word and raising money for cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Consider this, in 2016, there were an estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States, and that number is expected to increase to 20.3 million by 2026.  We begin our campaign to raise money in the battle against cancer, and we are working with 14-year-old Michaeyla Nadeau.

“Cancer takes a lot out of you. It takes a lot out of everyone involved,” Nadeau told us when we first met her on October 25, 2015, which was almost a year into her tough battle against osteosarcoma, which is the most common type of bone cancer.

“It’s been a battle, but I think I’ve gotten through it.”

Over three years later she is getting through it, but Michaeyla is still fighting cancer. It is on the move, and last November she had an unfair choice for a 14-year-old. 

“Well it was spreading too fast. It was either my limb, or my life, so I chose my limb.”

Most of her 14 years have been defined by tough choices like amputation. 

“It really doesn’t feel any different because I can feel my leg, even though it is not there, but I can’t see it.” 

It should be noted, often times after any limb has been amputated, a neurological/psychological phenomenon known as “Phantom Limb Syndrome” can occur. 

This can last from days to years.  Phantom Limb Syndrome causes the person to feel as if their missing limb is tingling, in pain, or otherwise existent.

Through personal challenge and triumph and setback, and triumph again, here she is with knowledge far beyond her 14 years: “I count my blessings and remember the things I am thankful for, and I have three healthy sisters, and a cute dog running around, and a mom and dad that love me, so that is all that really matters.”

Michaeyla recently stopped by WAVY TV 10.

“It’s osteosarcoma. It doesn’t show on your face at all. I hope you continue to do great.”

When she visited the Hampton Roads Show, Michaeyla was greeted by Ollie the Applause Owl in the Hampton Roads Show studio where she met “The RECK,” Chris Reckling.

“There are lots of bright lights in here. We got trinkets. Here try those on, those orange glasses, they go well with your outfit,” Chris told her giving her a pair of sunglasses. 

“We throw in some chicken, and some steak, and shrimp, but not too much,” Chef Chops said to her while cooking in the kitchen for a segment on the show.  He offered some Caribbean Jerk Pineapple Bowl, which was very spicy.  You could tell as  Michaeyla was waving her hand in front of her mouth to cool it off, “Oh, that is hot.  That cajun spicy stuff. We need some water,” she said.

She met Casey Lehecka, who let her do some weather in front of a green wall with wind-chill temperatures on it, and Michaeyla read off a teleprompter with ease.

“All new at Midday, Norfolk Southern in Atlanta is rolling out of Hampton Roads.”

As Michaeyla and I join forces to raise money to Crush Cancer in our lifetime, she kind of summed it all up just right.

“Cancer is really serious, and we need to raise lots of money for it, so nobody has it and we can find that cure … cancer doesn’t discriminate, so I feel like it could happen to anyone, and it just happened to me, but that is OK.  I just have to deal with it every day, and get through it, and I know I will.”

Michaeyla and I are racing each other to raise money, and she’s off to a hot start. As of April 17 she had raised $900, and I had raised $50.  Kind contributors are pitching in, and it is heartwarming to see. All of our efforts and yours end May 5 at One Life Fitness where we get on teams and get on bikes and cycle to beat cancer. 

Go online to WAVY.com. Go to the “Don’t Miss” section on the right and click CRUSH CANCER. 

Sign up to ride, sign up to give, and join the battle to crush cancer.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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