Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
In June of 2016, Gene Mickel, a native of Madison, was diagnosed with stage three multiple myeloma. Earlier this year he was given the prognosis that there was not much more his doctors could do and he only had a few weeks to live. Mickel, however, was not prepared to give up just yet. Along with other physicians, Mickel decided to undergo more aggressive chemotherapy treatments in order to fight back. According to Mickel’s step-daughter Kristen Hendry, Mickel’s condition is a day-to-day situation.
According to the American Cancer Society, multiple myeloma is a cancer that affects plasma cells. Plasma cells make antibodies that help the body attack and kill germs. When plasma cells become cancerous and begin to grow uncontrollably they can produce a tumor called a plasmacytoma. These tumors most often develop in a bone (plasma is produced by the body in bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones), but can be found in other tissues; although that is rare. If a person has only one plasmacytoma, it is called isolated plasmacytoma. If a person has more than one plasmacytoma, they have multiple myeloma. Side effects from multiple myeloma can include infections, kidney failure, weak bones, low blood counts, and more.
In order to help defray medical and travel costs, the family will be selling BBQ plates on Friday, Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Madison County Courthouse lawn. The price for the plates is $5 and includes chips, dessert, and a drink. The family has also set up a GoFundMe account. The address for the account is www.gofundme.com/help-mickel-family-survive-cancer for anyone wishing to contribute. The Mickel family expressed their deep and sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support they have received over the past weeks.