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Patient Highlight – National Cancer Survivors Month: DJ Mickey

Life has a knack for throwing curveballs at you when you least expect it. What makes the difference is how you respond. Do you knock it out of the park, or do you strike out and head back to the dugout? In honor of National Cancer Survivors Month, we felt it necessary to highlight one of our patients who was thrown the biggest curveball possible: cancer. Mickey, also known as DJ Mickey, has been behind the turntables since the age of 13. His passion began by DJing for children with special needs, progressed to his fraternity on campus in college, and now to doing 4 DJ events per day!

In 2016, Mickey was starting to experience weakness and pain on the right side of his leg, causing him trouble with walking and sleeping. Mickey was referred to Alliance Orthopedics by the principal of McDivitt Elementary in Old Bridge, where his wife teaches. On his initial evaluation he met with our chiropractic physician, Dr. Matt, and treated for what they diagnosed as multiple herniated discs. With a combination of chiropractic care, the spinal decompression machine, and massage therapy, Mickey saw great improvement within 2 weeks. Before he knew it, Mickey was back to his normal self and energizing crowds through his passion for music.

Mickey ringing the bell for his last day of radiation

After staying injury free for several months, Mickey returned to Alliance Orthopedics in early 2017 for treatment of knee pain that was slowing him down. Shortly after starting his treatment, Mickey started experiencing debilitating nausea that caused him to vomit everyday for 3 months. Assuming that the cause of his nausea was neurological, Mickey saw Monika (our resident vertigo expert) to treat his vertigo symptoms. After 2 treatments, Monika was not convinced that the vomiting was a result of vertigo and recommended that Mickey see an ENT for an MRI. After several doctors disclaiming any problems, it was a GI specialist who looked at the MRI and broke the news to him: Mickey had an abnormal brain tumor on the back of his head, and must have it removed immediately with surgery. With the support of his wife and children, he went through an 8 hour surgery to remove the tumor and was placed at a rehab center in Pennsylvania immediately after. Even after experiencing weight gain from the steroid medication, loss of hair, feeling constant chills, experiencing vision problems, forced into using a walker, and continued nausea, Mickey was not discouraged from putting all of his effort into recovery and getting back on his feet.

“Never be afraid to try new things when you want to achieve your goals, because you never know what can work for you. ”

Following a month of radiation to treat the medulloblastoma, he returned to AO and saw Dr. Mike Zolotnisky to treat for his balance, strength and

coordination. In concert with acupuncture, Mickey has seen great progress. He is off of his steroid medication, is able to drive, and no longer walks with a cane. He has already lost weight and is back to working out at the gym. Most importantly, DJ Mickey is back on the 1’s and 2’s! Mickey is back to fulfilling his passion of making people happy through his musical talents. We are so proud of Mickey and how far he has come on his journey to surviving cancer. For your tenacity and positive outlook on life, we honor you DJ Mickey!

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