I am not a fan of reality shows. I hate them with a passion. With that being said I actually have a soft spot for Oprah’s Big Give because of the good things that the people are doing. We watched the show last week and it was heartbreaking, uplifting and moving all at the same time. Then at the end of the show there was a promo for this Sunday’s episode, tonight’s episode. I saw the commercial and started crying. There was Mike and his family on Oprah’s big give.

The Machinski’s At Benihanna

Mike Machinski and his wife Becky (a classmate of mine from high school) and their three beautiful little girls have had it rough for quite a few years. Here is an excerpt from the Machinski’s personal online journal.

” Four years ago, on March 15, 2004, Mike was diagnosed at age 31 with Stage 4B Advanced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Mike is the loving Daddy to our three daughters, Kylie (now age 10), Mya (now 8)and Emma (now age 7). He completed 5 months of chemotherapy treatments called BEACOPP from March through August ’04, having 18 treatments in total. There were hospital in-patient stays, operations and blood transfusions that came with his treatments. He was in remission for just 8 weeks when another lump was discovered on Mike’s neck. During the third week of October 2004, we were told that Mike had a re-occurrence. His remission time was much to short. During October, November and December 2004, Mike went through 3 cycles of I.C.E. chemotherapy for Re-occurring Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Each cycle required him to be an inpatient at the hospital for four days. This chemo regiment is very aggressive and required frequent blood transfusions.

Since Mike was in remission for a short time and had a quick re-occurrence of his disease, the next step in beating his cancer is a stem cell transplant. Mike received a full Allogeneic re-lated Stem cell Transplant at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas on February 14,2005. On Wednesday, May 18th, we learned that Mike is once again cancer free. On May 22nd, our family left Houston and road tripped back to Pennsylvania. In September 2005, Mike started back at work after almost a year on disability. For almost two months, life felt normal and on November 7, 2005- Mike’s PET scan showed that the cancer was back. More chemotherapy followed and on April 6, 2006, came the beginning of three weeks of radiation treatments. The summer of 2006 included 60 radiation treatments for Mike. He had radiation 5 days each week for 12 weeks. From that, the results came back that it had not gone away and in early November, 2006, Mike began chemotherapy again. Through the holiday season 2006, Mike took a chemotherapy pill of 50 mg Vepesid (Etoposide)each day. January 2, 2007, he had another PET scan which showed that the chemo had not been effective in slowing growth of the cancer in all areas. During the months of January and February of ’07, Mike was on Holistic Supplements but lost to much weight and the 3rd week of February, began Radiation treatments again. Mike has completed a total of 120 Radiation treatments and currently goes to the Woodlands Center in Quakertown once a week of IV Vitamin C infusions. His PET scan in January 2008 showed a spread into the Lung. Please continue to PRAY!”

In November of last year I got to meet Mike personally at my 15 Year High School Reunion. That night was also a benefit evening to raise money for the Machinski family. We raised over $1600 and that includes some money from the sales of the 2008 Photo-A-Day calendar and the donations that bloggers gave to me to give to the family.

Please watch the episode tonight. I think it will be an example of Hope and help and love for a family that has endured such hardships for so long and has shown how love can help so much.

Also please visit Becky’s online store called Hope Creations. She makes jewelry and sells it at a physical store as well as online. She even donated some for the silent auction at the reunion.

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14 Responses to “Watch Oprah’s Big Give Tonight!!!”

  1. akeorlando says:

    I just think this is so amazing! I’ll have to try to remember to watch the show this evening.

    akeorlando’s last blog post..Beware of funny signage

  2. Drew says:

    I’m pretty excited about seeing this. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see that they are being helped in such a big way.

  3. Natalie says:

    I remember you posting about them before. It breaks my heart to read their story. I’ve never seen Oprah’s Big Give (I feel almost as strongly as you do about reality shows…except The Biggest Loser), but now I am interested to see tonight’s show.

    Natalie’s last blog post..Weekend Snapshot – Apr 7

  4. Dad (Grandfather) says:

    “There for the grace of God go I” We don’t have much to complain about when we hear what some of us have to go through.

  5. ciara says:

    i will have to catch this one tonight…what a heartbreaking story.

    ciara’s last blog post..A Cool Giveaway

  6. amy lilley says:

    First of all, I love your blog…you are one very talented guy…and the BABY..sooo sweet…will definitely watch tonight…

    all the best to you and YOUR family!!

    amy lilley’s last blog post..Be-jeweled

  7. Drew says:

    I’ve been known to catch biggest loser once in a while too. The shame. But since I actually know the folks on tonight I am especially excited.

  8. Drew says:

    Dad,
    Nope, we don’t have much to complain about. Luck, Grace call is what you want who knows why things happen as they do.

  9. Drew says:

    Ciara,
    While it is heartbreaking, the fight in Mike is so inspiring and the love of the family is as well.

  10. Drew says:

    Amy,
    I appreciate you stopping by, glad you like the photos. And I appreciate that you took the time to comment as well. All the best to you and your family too.

  11. amy lilley says:

    wow…truly touched..beautiful, beautiful family…God works in mysterious ways…bless them all…thanks Drew, for letting us know about Mike…

    all the best…Amy

    amy lilley’s last blog post..Be-jeweled

  12. Drew says:

    Amy,
    I am glad that you enjoyed the episode. Both my wife and I were crying so much during the Machinski portions of the episode. I am so glad that this happened for them. I wrote them after the show to tell them how happy we were for them. I hope this takes so much of the burden off of their minds to focus on Mike’s health.

  13. Ellen says:

    Thanks for alerting us of this episode of the Big Give. Tonight was actually the first time I’ve watched it. And…like others I cried during their segment. Oh my gosh….their story puts life in perspective doesn’t it?

    Ellen’s last blog post..Running Again

  14. Drew says:

    Ellen,
    I am so glad that you watched the show. We cried through each part when the Machinskis were on screen. It certainly does put things in perspective, it certainly does.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog and for visiting.

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