In March 1996, Michael Timm rode a roller coaster in Las Vegas. That night, he couldn’t sleep due to back pain. He eventually went to see a doctor when the pain didn’t go away, and he was treated for whiplash for a few months.
The pain was persistent, and Timm eventually went to see a chiropractor. In August of that year, a lump popped up in his neck. “My chiropractor suggested I go to my doctor to get it checked out.” A biopsy of the lump revealed that Timm has Stage 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Timm was treated with six months of chemotherapy followed by 20 days of radiation and has been cancer free since then. Even after 18 years of remission, he says the fear of recurrence doesn’t go away. “Every time you feel something not right with your body, you think the worst,” he says.
Being extra sensitive to health issues may have helped Timm, however. While doing snow removal work in the winter of 2013, Timm – now 51 years old – found himself out of breath with each job. An EKG and chest X-ray were negative, but a follow-up stress test revealed a 70% blockage in his left main artery and 40% blockage in the right. Timm was treated with double bypass surgery followed by three months of rehabilitation.
Following his rehabilitation, he began training on a treadmill in December 2013 with a goal of completing a St. Patrick’s Day 5K in March 2014. His successful completion of that race has Timm on a roll. “I saw the Hope in Motion 5K race and it caught my eye,” he says, adding that he will run this race to prove that people can beat cancer and live a long life. “Cancer is a hard thing to go through,” he says. “A big part of my treatment was a positive attitude.”