• September 18, 2020

Former fireman battling cancer - Odessa American: Local News

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Former fireman battling cancer

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Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11:52 am

Mike Sredanovich already survived one battle with cancer when he was hit by another form.

Sredanovich, a retired Odessa firefighter, had been in remission from non-Hodgkin lymphoma for more than a year when he was diagnosed last month with acute myeloid leukemia during a checkup and immediately admitted into MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to begin treatment.

“It’s one of the deadliest forms,” Amy Elder, Sredanovich’s sister, said of the leukemia. “They had to get him on some very strong chemo. He’s been there since Aug. 13 and he remains in there.

“It's going to be a really long battle for him. He’s going to have to go through approximately six series of chemo. Each one of them is 28 days long with two to four weeks in between.”

Elder has set up a GoFundMe account to help defray her brother’s medical expenses, while his wife, Gingie Sredanovich, is accepting contributions through venmo.com.

Gingie Sredanovich said her husband has completed his first round of chemotherapy and underwent the first of two scheduled bone marrow biopsies on Thursday. According to an update posted Monday on her Facebook page, the first biopsy showed he is responding to treatment and it is hoped he can be released later this week to continued treatment as an outpatient.

Through it all, Gingie Sredanovich, the outpouring of support has helped sustain the couple.

“We have had a great blessing of support from all our friends, family, loved ones, fire department, just the community at large,” she said. “Our church family at Grace Christian has been very supportive.

“One thing I would like to make mention of is our neighbors. They've come over to water the yard while we're gone. Without our neighbors, it would have been very difficult to do.”

The suddenness of the onset of the leukemia caught the couple by surprise, Gingie said.

“One week before, he'd had his blood drawn and there was no indication,” she said. “By the time we got to Houston and they did the test and he got the results on the following Thursday, he'd had such a rapid progression. We know God had us in the right place at the right time to receive the treatment in a timely manner.

“I believe that if we had not been there at that point in time ... the doctor told me that within two days he would have been gone.”

Elder said her brother has been completely isolated during treatment, making the ordeal even more difficult on family members.

“(Gingie’s) trying to be there to support Mike,” Elder said. “They called her in initially because they said she needed to be there. They didn't know for sure what they were going to be able to do for him or if there was anything they could do.”

During one recent visit, family and friends were only able to gather atop a nearby parking garage while Mike shined a flashlight from the window of his hospital room.

“I think that's probably the hardest thing,” Gingie said of the enforced separation. “I could be close to Mike and I knew I could be there at the drop of a hat, but it was the hardest thing to not be there to hold his hand and to be his advocate.”

Odessa, TX

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