The “Team Mac Walk” in support of Macullen Schnell is scheduled for this Saturday, May 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. starting at Hingiss Park in Kiel.
Schnell, a Kiel native and part-time police officer in New Holstein, was diagnosed in the fall of 2019 with large B Cell non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
The walk will be along a three-mile route in the city with dogs and strollers welcome. There is no registration fee. Free-will offerings will be accepted to benefit the family. Walkers are asked to wear a Team Mac T-shirt or bright green to show their support.
In the event of inclement weather, the rain date for the event is planned for June 12. More information and updates will be available on Facebook.
Schnell told his story to date on a blog, the text of which follows:
“Last year in January my world turned upside down. I never thought I’d hear the words ‘you have cancer.’ Being a young 22-year-old that hardly had any medical issues, it was the last possibility on my mind after seeing the doctor for what we thought was bronchitis.
My family and I had no idea as where to go next, but luckily a family member recommended an oncologist that was in the area. After meeting with the oncologist a few days later, I felt I was in the hospital or a doctor’s office more than I was home, between needing blood test, biopsies, and having scans done. I was grateful things were moving fast though because the only thing on my mind was getting answers and beginning my battle.
After the test came back, they determined my cancer to be large B cell non- Hodgkins lymphoma. I spent the next several weeks undergoing the treatment that the doctors laid out. It consisted of receiving chemo for 24 hours a day for five or six days every third week. I went through six cycles of this treatment and then had to wait. Through the treatment process I did have a CT scan or two and they looked promising. The true test would be the PET scan which shows where active cancer is in the body.
After awhile I had my first PET scan. We consulted with my doctor and it appeared I was in remission. I would still be checked every so often and have another scan a few months after the last, just to make sure everything was fine. That scan rolled around August of last year. I was feeling good, I felt like a normal human being, productive in society and doing what a 22-year-old does. I walked into the doctor’s room to go over the scan, and I could tell something was off. My doctor said, ‘I wish I had different news for you but it appears your cancer has come back and has developed in a new spot.’ It was definitely a sucker punch.
So, I was back to being tested and scanned, etc. Again, the pathologist both locally and at Froedtert Hospital determined it was still large B cell lymphoma. The next treatment for me was to do an autologous stemcell transplant. My family and I were going down to Froedtert quite frequently to see a lymphoma specialist and to prepare for the stemcell. I’ll skip all the stemcell steps, but all in all I was in the hospital for three weeks straight in late November/early December. I received a lethal dose of chemo and then received my cells back. Once again it was a waiting game until I could be scanned.
Once it came time for my scan, I could once again tell something was off as a gut feeling. Sure enough, cancer was back and it looked worse than before my stemcell transplant. Talk about a low blow and a bunch of emotions piling up. I again was back to having tests run, scans, and biopsies.
My family went down to see the lymphoma specialist to go over my scan. This time it appeared my biopsies showed Hodgkins lymphoma. And then he explained I had a rare cancer called ‘grey zone’ lymphoma, which is basically having non-Hodgkins and Hodgkins lymphoma at the same time.
So, I’m currently undergoing a treatment that specifically attacks Hodgkins and that’s where I’m at today. If you feel generous and want to help me and my family out financially, feel free to donate. I haven’t really worked for almost a year, due to being on treatments and being too weak for my line of work. Thank you in advance if you feel moved to donate.”