Mike passed away on December 7, 2020. Mike lived a full life in his 38 years. While the title of this page reads “Mike’s Story”, Mike’s story is not just his story- in his kind, gentle, and unassuming way, his story is woven into the lives of those who knew him.
Mike was diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer on December 18, 2014. The cancer was doubling and spreading in his body every five months and it was uncertain how long he might have. But Mike, Chen and their family did not let cancer dictate their lives. In between the surgeries, radiations, drug trials, and chemotherapy, Mike created memories and built friendships including fly fishing trips to Wyoming, anniversary trip to Costa Rica, and music jam sessions with friends.
Over time, the cancer wore down Mike’s body. Mike had tumors on his bones, lymph nodes, lungs, and liver; many of the tumor bulges were visible to the naked eye. Mike lamented and grieved at times, but his grief never lasted. Mike leaned on his faith in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to provide him peace, joy, patience, and love in his long suffering. Mike’s prayer was that people’s hearts and minds would turn to Jesus, that they would truly repent, put off rage, violence, anger, malice and trust Jesus so that they can enjoy His peace.
It is difficult to summarize Mike’s life into paragraphs and words. He was best friends to so many, accepting each person as they are. A beloved son and brother who was loyal, funny, mischievous, and adventurous. A husband who supported and challenged his wife to grow stronger in her faith. A loving dad who gave dry kisses and BIG hugs to his two children. His legacy not only lives on in those who knew him, but it also lives on in Healing Flats.
In the latter years of Mike’s diagnosis, he started praying for a new ministry. God had been using Mike’s journey to encourage others but as the physical pain became less bearable, Mike wanted a new ministry. The idea for Healing Flats started in June 2020. Shortly after the idea took root, Mike was told he had days to live. Mike received a miracle that summer as his liver tumors started to spontaneously shrink and his health stabilized. Those Summer and Fall months were what he and Chen needed to move Healing Flats from idea to plan. Mike and Chen filed for nonprofit status three days prior to Mike’s death. Mike’s ministry is now his legacy.