President of the Mike Slive Foundation
Commissioner of the SEC, 2002-2015
“Cancer is another competitor. It’s a big-time ball game, and I’ll be damned if I’ll lose. “
It’s safe to say that there would be no Mike Slive Foundation without Mike. His dedication to fighting prostate cancer comes from his lived experience—Mike’s a survivor, and he wants everyone impacted by prostate cancer to be a survivor, too.
Mike’s first encounter with prostate cancer was in 1996 when he had his prostate removed. But that was only the beginning of his struggle with the disease. In 2001, and again in 2006, Mike saw his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels elevate. The first instance was treated with radiation, and the second with hormonal therapy.
He won those battles, but Mike’s war still wasn’t over.
In August of 2014, Mike was losing his ability to walk and excruciating pain moved through his abdomen. After a battery of gastrointestinal tests, an MRI revealed a tumor had metastasized on his spine, squeezing his spinal cord.
“I walked in for my MRI on a Monday morning, they identified the tumor, and several hours later, I was admitted and scheduled for surgery first thing Tuesday morning,” Mike describes. “It happened that quickly.”
The surgery, performed by Dr. Mark Hadley at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was a lifesaving success. The titanium rods and screws stabilizing his spine allowed him to keep walking. Afterward, in the fall of 2014 and early months of 2015, he went through a protocol at MD Anderson involving massive radiation and a clinical trial of two new chemotherapy drugs combined to help combat the “hot spot” on his spine.
Today, Mike lives a normal, active life. He goes to physical therapy twice a week, does yoga at least once a week, and walks on the track at 6:15 in the morning. Perhaps most importantly, he’s able to keep up with his granddaughter Abigail. Unless you ask, you’d never guess what he’s been through.
To those whose lives are impacted by prostate cancer, Mike says first to keep your spirits up. “The first thing to do after a diagnosis is stop, take a deep breath, and carefully analyze the options that are presented to you. And there will be a lot of options. Technology is such that doctors can pinpoint where individual cancer cells are. I told my doctor, ‘I’m giving you my cancer, doc. You know what to do. I’m going to live my life like I always have.’ And that’s what I did.”
According to Mike, “the Foundation is an opportunity for me to share my story in hopes of helping other men and their families successfully overcome the disease. No one should die from prostate cancer. Continuing to fund research will ensure that no one does. Prostate cancer research saved my life. I want to help save others like me.”