Restoring Joy: A Couple’s Battle with Leukemia
Becoming a Marine was a boyhood dream for First Lieutenant Micah Weesner. For years, he considered it nothing more than that until his girlfriend Sarah encouraged him to make it a reality. He signed a flight contract with the Marine Corps during his junior year of college, and soon after, he attended Officer Candidate School. There, Micah realized he wanted to be on the ground with his fellow Marines rather than pursue aviation. He replaced his flight contract with a ground contract and became an Assault Amphibious Vehicle Officer. In December of 2018, he was assigned as a Platoon Commander in the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion.
Just a few months later, Micah and his platoon were training in the Mojave Desert when Micah began to feel unwell. Unable to participate in the training exercises, he visited the hospital tent. Doctors saw that Micah’s condition was critical and immediately sent him back to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. There, Micah was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on April 17, 2019.
The same day Micah received his diagnosis, a social worker at the hospital suggested he and Sarah reach out to Semper Fi & America’s Fund. Soon after, they were connected with Cathi, who became their case manager, and an immediate and enduring source of support and care.
Micah’s world had turned upside down. Sarah and he were in the midst of planning their wedding, and their plans were put on hold when Micah began chemotherapy treatment. Over the course of eight months, he had eleven surgeries to repair different orthopedic and joint conditions that resulted from the treatment and the cancer itself. Cathi was with them every step of the way, providing holistic, one-to-one, heart-to-heart love and support, frequently sending care packages and gift cards to ease the stress of Micah’s treatments. "Words can't begin to explain how blessed we are by Cathi and Semper Fi & America’s Fund," Sarah said.
In the fall of 2020, Micah’s health took a turn for the worse. His treatment confined him to his bed most days, and Sarah remembers feeling as though they lived at the hospital. It was at this same time that Micah began his transition from the Marines. The Fund stepped in to help in any way that they could to alleviate the stress, to include paying for several months of rent. “They took care of the ancillary parts of life so that we could focus on my treatment and recovery,” Micah said.
Thankfully, on April 18, 2021, Micah completed his last chemotherapy treatment. With his leukemia now in remission, he and Sarah are excited for what the future holds. Micah was recently accepted to graduate school, and Sarah is an online teacher. They are planning a wedding ceremony with friends and family in the fall.
“For the rest of our lives, we will never forget the help and support of Semper Fi & America’s Fund,” Sarah said. “They restored joy to what was a hopeless situation for us.”
The Fund will continue to be with Micah and Sarah on their journey – they are part of our family.