When Mike Warren was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer in September, the prognosis didn’t sound promising.
“Sept. 25 at 4:45 p.m. ... I’ll never forget it,” the 62-year-old Fallon man said. “The oncologist I saw that day said I had months, not years.”
Warren has cause for optimism these days, however, and is hoping to receive assistance in his fight Saturday when a benefit dinner is held at Epworth United Methodist Church, 280 E. Stillwater Ave. The dinner, which starts at 5:30 p.m., is free of charge (donations are accepted) and a silent auction will be held.
The retired firefighter has no insurance after VA treatment but is pushing on with his battle.
“Right now my life is doing better with the treatment I’m getting,” Warren said. “It has slowed the growth down, which has given me more time.”
Warren says he drives to Carson City four days a week for homepathic treatment. If all goes well, Warren says the goal is to improve to a point where he can begin chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
“Right now, they say it’s too weak and that I wouldn’t survive,” he said. “If it gets stronger, I can start chemo or radiation; that’s the plan.
Warren has worked with special needs young adults in the Fallon and Silver Springs area for 10 years and five years before that in the Carson Valley area. He formerly served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in Alpine County and also worked 14 years for the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and spent seven seasons as a U.S. Forest Service firefighter. He retired from the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department in 1994.
Warren grew up in the Bay Area community of San Leandro, Calif., then moved to Alpine County after his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1973.
With the aid of a more healthful diet, Warren noted he has lost 80 pounds since September. The weight loss has been welcomed — and so has the extra time.
“I’m not giving up; I’m still going,” he said. “There’s a slim chance a miracle can happen.”
Donations can be deposited in the Mike Cancer Treatment Fund at U.S. Bank, 2397 Casey Rd. Call Warren at 775-217-5053 for information.