Renewed Hope after Stage-4 Cancer Diagnosis

Wolf Lake resident Charles Confar, a retired teacher, is used to speaking in front of an audience. But, when it comes to talking about his successful treatment for stage-4 kidney cancer, Charles said, “I can barely begin without choking up. I feel very emotional and so grateful for my care.”

Charles believes exceptional medical care, combined with the grace of God and a lot of luck has brought him very far from the dismal outlook he had when first diagnosed in October 2018. His follow-up scans are bringing very good news, and he and his wife are planning to open a small tae kwon do studio.

About two and a half years ago, the Confars had found their dream lake home in Michigan and were preparing to move there from Columbus, Ohio. Also around that time, Charles went to his doctor to check out a strange feeling he’d been having that something was wrong in his chest and lungs. To his complete surprise, a CT scan revealed stage-four kidney cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain.

The kidney was successfully removed at what Charles describes as a “mega hospital” in Columbus. “When my wife and I learned Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson had a great Hematology Oncology team that would recommend the exact same cancer treatment as the doctors in Columbus, we decided to go ahead with the move and continue my treatment there,” he said.

“Everything about my Henry Ford Allegiance Health experience was wonderful, Charles said. “I received the same high level of care I’d been given in Columbus and, to my surprise, very caring personal attention from everyone I met. They really made an effort to get to know me.” Even more remarkable to Charles was the “incredible communication among all the individuals involved in my care, and I attribute that to great management. I wish I could thank everyone personally.”

Elias Hazzi, MD, planned and oversaw chemotherapy to treat Charles’s lung nodules and continues to monitor his medication therapy. Sean Vance, MD, planned and oversaw radiation treatment for the brain cancer. “There aren’t words to thank these doctors. Both went above and beyond for me—and the science behind my treatment was amazing.” Charles said.

Other physicians on the Henry Ford Allegiance Tumor Board contributed to determining the optimal plan of care for Charles. As a result, the nodules in his lungs have disappeared, and his brain tumor has diminished considerably.

Charles is happy to be able to return to two of his longtime passions. Besides practicing traditional tae kwon do with his wife and a few neighbors, Charles will go back to teaching his neighbor and good friend Nathan how to build wooden gifts for family and friends.

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