Real People, Real Stories

AML survivor

Michael Wiesenthal

In 2008, Michael Wiesenthal was diagnosed with Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia and his life changed forever. After undergoing an intense chemotherapy regimen, Michael then had to endure a bone marrow transplant. While in treatment, Michael became a CanCare client and was matched with Leonard Donaldson for support. Michael shares, “What got me through cancer was my family, faith, the Methodist staff and Leonard Donaldson.”

Michael was also inspired by a complete stranger who donated the bone marrow he needed for his transplant. He later got a chance to thank his donor Randy, in person, when he and his son, Jared, flew to New York for an event honoring him.

Once Michael was well, he wanted to do the same thing for others that these men had done for him, so he became a CanCare volunteer himself. Almost every Tuesday morning, you will find Michael rushing around the halls of Houston Methodist Hospital, the very hospital where he received his treatment, visiting people in the same rooms where he waged his courageous fight with cancer. Only now, he is there to bring hope to others. With his energy, stories, his contagious laugh, and his new passion for life, he does just that.

“I’ve been blessed my whole life with good clothes,” Michael shared, referring to his former family business, Harold’s in the Heights, and his new company, M. Wiesenthal Men’s Collection, “but there’s just something about putting on that plain, blue, volunteer jacket when I’m visiting people at Methodist. It feels better than a custom-fit suit because of what I am able to do while I’m wearing it. That jacket makes me feel like Superman.”

Aside from visiting people at the hospital who are facing all types of cancer, he also volunteers his time to provide one-on-one, ongoing support to individuals diagnosed with his specific type of cancer. And if that wasn’t enough, he is always looking for ways to help the mission of CanCare. Recently for his 54th birthday, he sent an email to all of his friends asking them to make a donation to CanCare for his birthday gift. He raised more than $6,000 to support CanCare’s most recent volunteer training, which was hosted at Michael’s place of worship, Congregation Beth Yeshurun.

Michael shared his story with more than 350 CanCare supporters at the 21st Annual CanCare Golf Classic. When asked about all of his volunteer work, he shared, “When you experience firsthand what a difference CanCare makes for people, there’s not much you won’t do to help get the message to others facing cancer.”

CanCare has been serving people with cancer since 1990.  All services are confidential and free of charge.  To talk to someone surviving your diagnosis, click here.