William Messner - Founder: 4/16/1956-1/29/2014 R.I.P.
The best place to try and give you an idea about me and my involvement in creating Finding the Cure for DM Foundation, would be to start at the beginning.
I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in 2002, before moving to Florida in 2003 to continue my fight. In 2004, after having gone through one series of chemo treatment, without much results, and had the cancer progress to a stage 4 cancer, it was determined that I undergo a very aggressive chemo therapy. The first cycle of that treatment landed me in the hospital having perforated my bowels resulting in peritonitis. I was hospitalize for 2 months when it was determined that due to the complication of surgery I received, and the resulting inability to digest food, the prognosis I received from the doctors was a death sentence, with only two months to live. I was not going to die in a hospital and was released into Hospice care. To my doctors' amazement, I past my 2 month deadline and continued to improve.
It was at that time, I decided I needed a companion to help me. Having been raised with dogs all my life (family bred Collies) I never really had a companion I could call my own, and always dreamed of having a German Shepherd. I read in the local paper of a family that had a litter of puppies and went to see them. There were 5 happy puppies that ran around from one person to the next, but there was one that stayed with me the whole time. This was my beloved Shannon, and I truly believe that she knew that we were meant to be together and so did I.
Shannon became my drive and inspiration to fight on and to overcome cancer. She stood by me through 6 different chemo treatments, a clinical trial and finally a last resort bone marrow transplant, during my 4 year fight with cancer.
When she was diagnosed with DM, and as I watched helplessly as the paralysis worked its way up her spine, (within months) I did everything to make her as happy and as comfortable as possible. She never seemed happier and never seemed bothered at having to drag her backside around the room, and was always eager when it came time to harness her up for our walks. As the disease progressed, she began to lose control of her bowel movements and bladder control. Still, it was of no inconvenience for me to get up in the middle of the night to clean her up and the mess she could not help leaving. Eventually her quality of life would become an issue and even after her vet felt that it was time, I still held on selfishly for another month, but somehow I felt that Shannon was telling me it was time for her to go. It broke my heart on that day we shared together before going to the vet's office to help her begin her journey to Rainbow Bridge. September 28, 2012
Ever since that day, I have never been alone. Her presence is always with me. It was her spiritual guidance and inspiration that drove me in creating Shannon Productions, to create videos and graphics that would inspire and help those who have companions or have lost their companions for whatever the reason. But, I felt that there was more I had to do. It was at that point it came to me, another of Shannon's promptings. I was going to dedicate my life to help find the cure for DM, the disease that had taken my Beloved Shannon from me, and to help those who are going through, or have gone through what I did.
This is Shannon's Legacy