Cancer isn’t something new to Chris Norton of Green Bay.
He watched his mother battle and pass away from this disease. In 2013, Chris was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in his brain and was referred by his neurologist to his mom’s physician,
Dhimant Patel, MD, at Aurora BayCare Medical Center. Chris went through chemotherapy and radiation treatment and temporarily lost function of the left side of his body. With determination and
exercise, Chris recovered and was declared “cancer-free,” but that was shortlived.Since his initial diagnosis, Chris’ cancer has returned four times in just four years.
“Each of us has challenges in life every day. Survivors like myself, we just have a different mindset to get over those challenges,” said Chris.
A long, difficult battle
At one point during treatment, Chris lost sight in his left eye. Yet his faith and determination to beat this disease led to a continued regimen of exercise and activity during and after cancer treatment—even during radiation and chemotherapy. That discipline and determination, coupled with a new oral chemotherapy trial, made a difference in Chris’ recovery.
“I love Dr. Patel, and thanks to him, I was connected to cancer research,” said Chris.
Over the years, Chris has become an advocate for other survivors through his local LIVESTRONG program. He is a champion at every Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer in Green Bay, where this year, about a month after treatment, he came to cheer on survivors even though he was too weak to walk with them.
Today, Chris’ cancer journey takes him to Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, where under the care of Federico Sanchez, MD, he completed a stem cell transplant in which his own stem cells were harvested and reintroduced to his body. Today, he is responding well to treatment. He knows his recovery will take some time, but he continues to exercise daily and is staying positive.
“I cannot thank my doctors and medical team enough. But most importantly, I’m grateful to my wife, Jen, for being with me throughout this journey,” said Chris. “What keeps me
going? Enjoying life the best I can. Every day is a gift.”
How you can help
You can support innovative research just like this by supporting the 2017 Aurora Gala. To make a gift, click here.