In November, Weber knew that something physically was not right. Her throat was bothering her, but she attributed it to allergies. But it didn’t stop, leading to chest pains she had never felt before and issues with swallowing.
In January, Weber had enough. She told her parents to take her to the doctor. Those examining her told Weber and her parents they thought initially it was a thyroid issue. A biopsy told a different story.
“I just looked at the doctor and said, ‘You’ve seen the ultrasound. You’ve seen what they’ve pulled out of her neck. You know what it looks like. It’s not an infection, it’s not whatever,” Kim Weber, Zoe’s mother, said. “What are you thinking?’
“He said, ‘I’m going to tell you right now Zoe, you have cancer. I don’t know what kind, but you do.’”
Weber was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Jan. 18. The Plymouth senior would have to undergo chemotherapy, losing her hair and, possibly, damaging her reproductive system.
Since Zoe’s diagnosis, the Weber family has seen an outpouring of support from those around them.
Friends, family and people in their community have united to provide emotional and financial support, including a prom set up by the Shed Neck Foundation: a non-profit organization that helps teenage cancer patients in the Plymouth-Canton area.
Autumn Waack, just 18 years old, has very recently been diagnosed with an aggressive very rare, stage four metastatic cancer. This cancer came out of nowhere and a healthy, vibrant college freshman is now facing an unimaginable battle. Autumn is a bright and incredibly kind young woman who is passionate in her love of animals. She graduated from Cheryl Stockwell Academy in Brighton, MI and had just started college at Wayne State University. She was looking ahead towards a promising collegiate volleyball career that is now placed on hold. Since discovering that she has cancer, she has told her mom that she would rather it happen to her instead of someone else because she would never want anyone to have to go through this. That is just one example of how big-hearted this incredible young woman is! Autumn has planned to put her natural kindness into action through pursuing a psychology degree and eventually entering a helping profession such as counseling. As a freshman she was just beginning to stretch her wings and explore future pathways - and then a stomach ache and some vomiting led to this completely unexpected diagnosis. Autumn is receiving treatment at University of Michigan Mott's Children's Hospital, and though a treatment plan is still developing, given the severity of the cancer - treatment will be tough and will start as soon as possible. Autumn has a fight ahead of her. Autumn's dog, Ayla, and her boyfriend, Gabe, are both big supporters and hope you can help fuel Autumn's fight
Autumn J. Waack, age 19, passed away October 24, 2022. She was born January 1, 2003 in Flint, Michigan, daughter of Denise Urban and Travis Waack. She graduated from Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy where she received her varsity letter in Volleyball. Autumn was known for her kind, loving and compassionate spirit. She was caring, creative, funny and loved to help others. Autumn wanted to pursue a career where she would help guide children through difficult health care procedures. She will always be remembered for her love of nature and her family. She will be deeply and sadly missed by those who knew and loved her. Autumn is survived by her mother, Denise (Michael Authier) Urban; her father, Travis Waack; her brother, Bailey Waack; her grandmothers: Carole Urban, and Nancy Waack; her boyfriend, Gabriel Novak; her uncles and aunts: Tony (Danette) Urban, Ginger (John) Reining; her cousins: Ethan (Catherine) Forys, Genevieve, Zander, Sawyer, Zachary, Kaleb (Sarah) Reining, and Sierra. Autumn was preceded in death by her grandfathers: Frank Urban, and David Waack; and her uncle, Jon Waack.
Memorial donations may be made to Ucancervive or Shedneck Foundation.
On October 1 2021 I was having a normal Friday. I had cosmetology school off that day and I decided to go and get my nails done for fall! I love all things beauty and I love all things self-care and Fridays we’re my days off so that’s just what I did! Meanwhile, all throughout September, I had been having chest pains, shortness of breath, and whenever I would sleep on my side there would be a crushing pain. This pain was indescribable I literally said “I wish I could rip open my chest to show you where the pain is” when I described it to my mom and dad! During my nail appointment, I got a call from my doctor's office saying that I could get a CT scan the following Friday to see what was going on. By the time I reached home, the pain was still there and it had already been a month of this pain, I and my family started to get worried. When I got home my mom took me to the closest hospital (St Joe) at around 8 pm at night. We walked in and the line was so long I didn’t even want to wait. Thank God we waited….they took me back for a CT scan and the doctor came in and said “mom can I speak with you alone?” meanwhile my dad is an hour away still working and worried to death. I sat alone in the room shaking, crying, and all of a sudden I hear my mom crying her eyes out from outside of the room, and from that moment I knew it was something bad. My mom walked back in with the doctor and with tears in her eyes said “Alex they think you have cancer” I said WHAT?! I was in total shock. I already have OCD/anxiety so we just thought it was from that. We had so many questions from there. “Was I going to die?” “What kind of cancer is this?” “Is it curable?” So many questions in such little time. Right away they put an IV in my arm (super painful) and they took me straight up to oncology. After many many days spent at St Joe waiting for test results to figure out what kind of cancer this is we finally got some news. At 19 years old I am diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. This is a very rare t-cell blood cancer. Oncology said I would have to be in the hospital for months with 2 years of treatment. After about 5 days spent at St Joe, they finally transferred me to U Of M Motts Children’s Hospital. By far the biggest blessing. I didn’t have to stay in the hospital for months, just a little over a week. My oncology team at U of M Motts specializes in my type of cancer which is a blessing! While in the hospital I had a bone marrow test to see if the cancer was in my bones (it was not thank goodness) but worst pain I have ever felt. Definitely felt like someone had beat me up in the back over 20 times. I then got more scans and a spinal tap. I have never been in the hospital for such a long amount of time but my sweet nurses made it special while I was there. So thank you nurses on floor 7 I will always remember and cherish you.
I decided to share my story and my journey because I want to share how raw and how real cancer is and how it may take a toll on someone’s life. I want to inspire and to share positivity and to share that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and this is just a stomp in the road that won’t last forever. I am a firm believer and I always have said “thank God even on the bad days.” I have also gotten the question “why would God do this to such a sweet, God-loving, young woman?” but I realized that God knew that I would be able to handle this battle and He would be right next to me through it all and He has been.
Having graduated from Salem High School a semester early, Lane Kleinglass enjoys riding his skateboard, spending time with his friends, and exploring the city. He is planning on becoming a firefighter, having received his state fire certification. Lane also competed on the soccer and lacrosse teams for Salem High School. In November of 2021, Lane began to experience severe pain in his leg that made it difficult for him to walk and do everyday tasks. Despite this, he continued to attend school but eventually, the pain got so severe that he went to the doctor. Scans revealed that Lane had broken his leg; however, doctors suspected that his condition was much more severe. Within four days, Lane was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. As a result, Lane has had to complete three rounds of all-day chemotherapy. Through the month of March, Lane has to undergo daily radiation treatments. Lane’s condition has led him to feel constantly nauseous, tired, and hesitant to eat. Lane graduated from Plymouth-Salem this past year and he’ll follow in his father’s footsteps and train to be a firefighter.
On October 21st, 2022, Peyton’s life was flipped upside down. It started in August when she developed a thick cough that she and her parents assumed was just a cold. After being treated for a sinus infection, signs of improvement rose as quickly as they vanished, when yet again her cough returned. Her father, Matthew, took her in for another appointment where he pushed for an X-Ray to be completed, even after being told her lungs sounded normal. Results from that imaging showed masses in the middle of Peyton’s chest. After speaking with her pediatrician, they headed straight for Mott Children's Hospital where she was admitted for a week. During that week, multiple scans and tests were completed, along with a biopsy. From this biopsy, she was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. She is currently in the middle of her 6-month treatment plan. A recent PET scan delivered positive news that the treatment is working! Being diagnosed has not stopped her from participating in the activities she loves most. She continues playing volleyball, playing in the band, and volunteering in her community which has shown her so much love. Peyton is making plans for all the activities that come along with the senior year of high school and planning for her next step into college. She is contemplating studying child psychology and child development as part of a plan to become a Child Life Specialist.
Having recently moved to Michigan, Andy has not experienced many Michigan winters. In January of 2023, when his mom asked him to help shovel the snow, she could not understand why a healthy young man was having trouble with this task. He was short of breath, light headed and lethargic. When Andy started vomiting, he was taken to urgent care. The doctor asked, “Is he always this pale?” After initial blood tests revealed a hemoglobin of 3.5, Andy was admitted to the hospital for the first of many blood transfusions, tests, and scans. Three days later, Andy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). It was decided that Andy, although 23 years old, would be treated as a pediatric patient under the care of Dr. Kaydee Kaiser of the Skandalaris Treament Family Center for Children with Cancer and Blood Disorders at Beaumont Royal Oak Hospital. Within days of the diagnosis, a medi port was implanted and the chemotherapy treatments began.
Chemotherapy is not easy for anyone, but Andy seemed to have an especially difficult time. He spent the next two months in between hospital stays and chemo clinic visits. The side effects of the chemo were challenging. He had a collapsed lung, blood clots in his arm, and had nausea almost everyday. It wasn’t long before he lost his hair and lost an inordinate amount of weight in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately, Andy had to have a feeding tube to help with nutrition since the chemo took away his appetite. One of the hospital stays was a result of being diagnosed with Covid. The bone marrow biopsy did show that the chemo was working -the leukemia is slowly leaving his body. The treatment plan is expected to take about two years. Andy looks forward to watching baseball and spending time with his family this summer.
Hi, I’m Maddie and I’m 21 years old and at the beginning of the year I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Although I was diagnosed in January my symptoms started to appear a week before thanksgiving. I tested positive for influenza A and was told to just rest for a week, and I would be back to normal but that wasn’t the case for me. I was having trouble breathing and felt super sick. When I went to the doctors back in November, I was told that I had fluid around the heart, lungs, and a pulmonary embolism. After doing multiple test cancer was ruled out and I was told that I was just unlucky and that this all happened from a viral infection. A month later I went back for a routine cardiac ultrasound and the fluid came back. From there I was admitted into U of M and after running some test the doctors discovered a mass behind my sternum. After performing a biopsy, the doctors told me I had a rare form of lung cancer called Sarcomatoid Carcinoma. Although the news was not great, I have always said that I will never just be a statistic and that I can beat the odds. With such a rare diagnosis, my family and I ultimately decided that a second opinion would be a good option. With the help of my amazing cardiologist, I was able to find out about MD Anderson. I flew to MD Anderson four days after I was discharged and from there, they decided to perform a biopsy and determined that I did in fact not have a lung cancer but a thymus cancer. Still a rare cancer, I was able to come up with a treatment plan and kick cancers butt. I recently had my 5th round and only have one more to go! Although this journey has been tough, I am determined to fight so I can achieve all my dreams. I’m currently not enrolled in school due to my diagnosis, but when in school I was studying Speech Language Pathology so one day I can work in a hospital to help patients who have struggled with brain injuries and trauma. Although this journey is difficult, I am grateful to have such a supportive group of people who love me and are here for me every step of the way.
Ava's story to be shared shortly
TJ's story to be shared shortly
Devin's story to be shared shortly
Alex's proper diagnosis -
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with
JAK2 Mutation (which) only 0.01% of people have is mutation.
Quick back story on how we found out about Alex.
Early June 2023 Alex cut his finger at work. I noticed it was healing black and told him it didn’t look right and he should go see his PCP. He did. She ordered blood work. Alex was also experiencing pain in his chest and shoulders for no real reason. So X-rays were done as well. Over the course of the next 10 days she brought Alex back in twice to have labs redrawn. Mariah and I noticed in his Mychart they all said oncology. June 12, 2023 she called me and told me to bring Alex in to the ER ASAP for possible internal bleeding. So, Mariah and I raced Alex to Henry Ford where we found out the devastating news he has cancer. ☹️. After 9 days at Henry Ford he was transferred to Children’s in Detroit. Where he stayed until last week. October 12, 2023 we were told Alex is now in remission. However, he has a 2-3 year treatment plan. This week Alex will be admitted to U of M to undergo his CarT cell stem removal where they will take his bad cell harvest them until healthy !!
Alex absolutely loves all things Ford Mustang and Detroit sports.
For the second year we will be honoring our second warrior Autumn and her memory with a toy drive. An amazing event that we are very excited to partner with Autumn's family and friends. All the toys get donated to Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. Please see our events page for more information.