Fight Like Mike!

By Joshua Tiaga.

ms bing and mikeMike Roberts is a night custodian who works in the L600 hallway. Recently, Roberts was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a form of blood cancer, unlike Leukemia; it originates in Lymph nodes not the bone marrow. This type of cancer occurs when the lymphocytes are in an uncontrolled state of growth and multiply in the immune system. In the United States, five percent of all cancers and half of all blood cancers are Lymphoma. There are many types of this cancer but they are categorized as Hodgekin’s Lymphoma and non-Hodgekin’s Lymphoma. Mike has non-Hodgekin’s Lymphoma.

Over the years, Roberts has become good friends with Ms. Gina Bingaman, a CTE teacher in the L600 hallway. Ms. Bingaman and Roberts talk often and one day she noticed that he was not looking well. She asked how he was feeling and suggested that he should have some blood work completed just to check.

Roberts scheduled an appointment with his doctor just as Ms. Bingaman suggested. The next time they met he told her that the screening with his doctor diagnosed him with lymphoma cancer. Ms. Bingaman then sat down with him and together they gathered questions that Roberts should ask his doctor; he then began his course of treatment. They continue to talk about his health openly and honestly; she walks with him through the world of cancer. Mr. Roberts now refers to Ms. Bingaman as his sister. He is thankful that he can talk to her about physical, mental, emotional, and financial aspects of having cancer. Ms. Bingaman is thankful she can be there for him.

calendarMs. Bingaman spoke with Mrs. Hobbs, a fellow CTE teacher, and they discussed Mr. Robert’s situation. Together they proposed a pitch to Mr. Shipp to help Roberts with offsetting some of the costs of treatments. Mr. Shipp agreed that Ms. Bingaman and Mrs. Hobbs could organize a fundraiser to help Mike with funds. The first idea that they came up with was Jean Days, where faculty can pay five dollars to wear jeans every Thursday in the month of November or pay twenty for the entire month. Teachers who support the cause receive a “Go Mike!” sticker to wear for their support. Another means of fundraising is a t-shirt that Ms. Bingaman and Mrs. Hobbs designed. It reads “Fight Like Mike,” written in the Lymphoma ribbon. The shirt can be purchased through Mrs. Hobbs or Ms. Bingaman for ten dollars. Both students and faculty car purchase the support shirt.

Mr. Roberts stays positive and has an optimistic outlook for his healing. He doesn’t miss work and doesn’t want people to feel bad for him or pity him. Mike writes all of his treatments in Ms. Bingaman’s calendar and he wrote on January 3rd, “Mike’s last treatment, Hopefully.” We are all hopeful for a full recovery for Mr. Roberts, as well all join to “Fight Like Mike!”