Dennis Seifert has a lot to celebrate on National Cancer Survivors Day. In 2008 he was diagnosed with kidney cancer that had spread to his lungs. With his cancer at Stage IV, he was told he had just a few weeks to a couple of months to live. At first, Seifert says he felt a lot of fear and anger in response to his diagnosis. “I thought, ‘why me’?” he says.
But he decided to pursue treatment at Minnesota Oncology’s Coon Rapids Clinic and there he met medical oncologist Dr. Noel Laudi. “Dr. Laudi gave me hope,” Seifert says. “He made a really huge difference in how I felt and my attitude. It felt like there was a chance.”
Seifert’s treatment plan was very aggressive, he says. Over the next few years, he underwent 14 different surgeries, was part of a clinical trial, and was treated with chemotherapy. In 2011 he was declared cancer free.
Now 55 years old, Seifert sees Dr. Laudi at the Coon Rapids Clinic every six months for scans, which have been clear since 2011. “Dr. Laudi is amazing,” he says. “He is so calm and in control all the time.”
Physical therapy has been an integral part of Seifert’s recovery, and he says he is grateful for the level of care he receives at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center at Virginia Piper Cancer Institute in Coon Rapids. “They are the best of the best,” he says. “They have helped me so much.”
Seifert has been working hard in physical therapy in order to complete the one-mile Family Walk at Hope in Motion on July 13. “I’m not positive I can make it the whole way,” he says. “But I’m going to try.”
National Cancer Survivors Day is a celebration of life, Seifert says. “I want to get everything out of it I can.”