For each PuppyUp Walk, the Event Manager and their Walk Team select both a Human Cancer Hero and a Canine Cancer Hero, to be honored during the Walk ceremonies.
These Heroes are chosen because of their exemplary attitude towards their particular type of cancer, showing bravery and hopefulness in their fight against this terrible disease. Our Human Hero for the 2018 PuppyUp Madison Walk is Steve Resan.
Steve Resan is a cancer survivor today! Steve is a fun-loving, positive, dedicated person who has great love for his family and friends, both human and canine. Steve lives in Madison with his wife Marge, and greyhounds Hooper and Bo, and collie mix Winnie. On August 31, 2017, Steve’s life was turned upside down when he found out he had Stage 3 colon cancer after going to the emergency room with abdominal pain. He had surgery the next day to remove the tumor. On October 5, 2017, Steve had his first of 12 chemotherapy treatments through the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Steve was fatigued and sore during the difficult days of chemo side effects but was always comforted and reassured by the constant presence of his dogs. To monitor for infection, Steve was required to take his temperature 3-4 times a day. If his temperature rose to 100.5 degrees, he was to immediately contact the doctor. At one point, Winnie started acting very strangely. She was panting, pawing at him, whining, and even trying to trip him. It was very unusual behavior. Steve took his temperature, and sure enough, it was above the threshold for calling the doctor. Steve ended up in the hospital for several days with febrile neutropenia, which means his neutrophils, a component of white blood cells essential for fighting infection, became dangerously low. About a month later, he had a second bout with neutropenia and had a second stay at UW Hospital. During that stay, one of the oncologists had a feeling there was a reason he was having such a tough time with the chemotherapy. She ordered a test, and it turned up positive for a very rare condition causing Steve to have a deficiency in a protein that was important for metabolizing one of the medications in his chemo. After that, his chemo dosing was adjusted and he did not have any more neutropenia. Steve finished his 12 rounds of chemo on March 28, 2018.
On April 19, 2018, Steve underwent his first series of post-chemo tests and scans. His awesome oncologist, Dr. Sam Lubner, gave Steve the news that his scans were clear. Steve felt overwhelmed but so lucky, and maybe a little guilty, since so many people had to continue their treatment while his fight is, hopefully, over.
From the day he received his diagnosis, Steve remained a fighter, stayed positive, maintained his sense of humor, continued working part-time and maintained his workout routine as much as he could to keep up his strength. Steve feels truly thankful and blessed by the much appreciated support from friends, family, co-workers, church family, softball buddies, and everyone else who prayed for him and supported him.
Steve is a full-time, career member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. He is a Master Sergeant with a rank of E7. Throughout his military career, he has been deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Steve and Marge have owned and been foster parents to retired racing Greyhounds since 2004. Their first foster dog was named Mouse, and it didn’t take long for Steve and Marge to become “foster failures.” Mouse was a much beloved part of the family. Mouse received the dreaded diagnosis of osteosarcoma and left this world on September 10, 2011. A few years later, Spinner, another beloved failed foster dog, got cancer that most likely started in his spleen. He died on April 29, 2015.
Steve and Marge have learned firsthand the suffering associated with both canine and human cancer. But they’ve also learned that there is so much beauty in life, and that there is so much reason for hope for better treatment and even cures for all cancer patients, human and canine alike.