A Second Chance
MILWAUKEE - Miki Reinhold is winning her fight against cancer...thanks to her family, and some world-class medical care right here in Milwaukee.
You wouldn't know it to see her today...but Miki Reinhold has been to hell and back in the last three years.
"If I had to go through everything I've been through to get here, I would absolutely do it again. Life is good," Miki insists.
Miki was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer when she was only 36-years-old.
"When I heard that word the first thing I thought of was my family, my children....what's gonna happen?" Miki remembers.
Dr. Mario Gasparri was impressed by her determination.
"She was always just like, 'What do I have to do? What's the next treatment?' and just worked through it," he says.
Over six months Miki went through chemotherapy, radiation, and a 9-hour surgery. Her husband Harry drove to Froedtert from Fond du Lac every day to be with her.
"You can't do anything for them," Harry tearfully recalls.
Miki's 16-year-old daughter Gabby says, "I never really wanted to go down to the hospital because I was always scared...I didn't want to see her like that."
Miki got through the surgery, and slowly started to recover. Her son says the family tries to keep things light at home.
"Watching her try walking when she got home, and watching my dad make fun of her," he remembers.
Then, during one of her follow-up visits, Dr. Gasparri found something he never expected.
"I went into the room, told Harry to please step out, I gotta talk to Miki!" Dr. Gasparri says.
Miki was pregnant!
"That was quite a shock," Miki says. Harry adds, "A happy surprise."
Miki admits she had mixed feelings at first.
"It was hard enough to take care of myself, how was I going to nurture a baby through a healthy pregnancy?" Miki says.
"I told her she could do it. She didn't believe me. And then Dr. Gasparri said go have fun with it, and so she did!" Harry exclaims.
Now, Miki and the whole family are back in town to check out the new Cancer Center at Froedtert. It's a place where other families will hopefully write their own unique success stories.
"You have to have faith, not just in God, but your caregivers, and the whole team: The doctors, your nurses...just everyone involved," Miki says.
Miki is now cancer free. Her main message to others: Never stop believing in yourself.
Froedtert's Clinical Cancer Center opened Monday. The best thing about it is that it now offers one location for all cancer clinics and support services.