Community helps Virginia firefighter fight cancer

PETERSBURG, Va. — Dedicated his life to saving others, now Petersburg Fire Sgt. Michael Clark thinks a cancer treatment trial could save him.

Doctors first discovered Clark’s stage IV colon cancer in October 2019.

“I started to feel a little rude,” he said. “I couldn’t keep food down and started losing weight. I lost 31 pounds in six weeks.”

Clark underwent 30 rounds of chemo in an effort to shrink the tumor that was blocking the area where his small and large intestines joined. And while doctors were about to remove the tumor, Clark said there was cancer left in his abdomen.


St. Petersburg fire sergeant. mike clark

Clark hopes a clinical trial will hold the key to extending his life, without cancer.

“We go to Envita, in Phoenix, Arizona and they don’t participate in insurance because they do a lot of experimental testing,” Clark’s girlfriend Andrea Whichard said. “[The cost] could be anywhere up to $120,000.

Without treatment, doctors gave Clark about three years to live.

“It has not been approved by the FDA,” Clark said. “But they’ve had a lot of success with it.”

Clark and his family set up a GoFundMe account to help cover the costs of the potentially life-saving trip.

“He saved many lives, now I think it’s our turn to try to help him,” Whichard said.

Clark is scheduled to leave for Arizona next week to undergo two days of counseling and testing. Eight to 12 weeks of chemotherapy would follow.

“My goal is to get back on a fire truck. That’s where I’m going, that’s where it’s all going,” he said. “I missed it so much.”

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email [email protected] to send a tip.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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