By: Lee Holsey
This is a story about a very special lady. She was a special wife, the kind that loved unconditionally, always giving more than she got. She blessed me with the kind of love many people seek for a lifetime but never find. Michelle was not just my wife, she was my best friend. I will miss her dearly but she will always be in my heart, and I will think of her each time I see our children smile.
She was a special mom. I can’t tell our children anything to take away the pain of their loss but I pray that they find comfort in knowing that during their short time with their mother, she gave them enough love to last a lifetime. When faced with life’s decisions, I would encourage them to ask the question; What would Mom do? If they live their lives as their mother lived hers, they will not only make her proud, but they will touch many lives and make this world a much better place in which to live. Michelle loved our children with all her heart and soul. She will always be with them wherever they go, whatever they do, always watching over them.
When trying to make sense of why such a wonderful person has been taken from us by such a horrible disease, it helps to think of the good things that have happened and will happen as a result of her illness. This story would not be complete if I didn’t tell you about the treatment she received in Germany. Michelle would want it to be known that the treatment did not fail; in fact it exceeded our expectations. Dr. Rigdon Lentz and his wife, Kiran, are not only great doctors; they are caring, loving people as well. Dr Lentz has been called a maverick by some and ridiculed for thinking outside of the box by many narrow minded members of the chemotherapy establishment. In spite of the nay sayers, he never wavered. Dr. Lentz continues to fight for the many brave people like Michelle who have been tormented by this horrible disease. Dr. Lentz’s treatment is not painful or harmful to the body as are the current standard treatments for cancer. Without going into too much detail, I would like to share with you a little bit about the treatment. Dr. Lentz discovered something called TNF inhibitors, which simply put these inhibitors are used by tumors to shield themselves from the immune system. When these inhibitors are removed from the blood stream, the tumors are left defenseless by the immune system and its attack. The tumors swell from the immune system response and begin to decay. While in Germany, we witnessed disease regression at a remarkable rate in Michelle. After the initial success, she began having problems with nausea and maintaining her balance when walking. Although earlier tests showed no metastasis to her brain, an MRI revealed that numerous very small tumors were the cause of her problems. After a failed attempt at radiation attempting to get these tumors under control so the treatment could be restarted; she succumbed to complications from the tumors.
I will always be grateful to the doctors and their loving staff for the excellent care they provided Michelle in her last days. Michelle battled cancer the way she lived her life – with grace and dignity. I have told you a story today of unbelievable courage, but the story is not over. Michelle will continue to live through our children, and her memory will be with us until we meet again. To ensure her legacy continues for generations to come, we have started the Michelle Lynn Holsey Foundation to assist men, women and children in their quest to battle cancer and other debilitating diseases while funding innovative treatments and supporting education.
In closing I ask two things of you. I ask that you not pity us for our loss because even though Michelle is no longer with us, at least we know what it is like to have had the very best. I also ask that you not remember Michelle by how she died, but instead I ask that you remember her for how she lived.