Just three weeks after their wedding, newlyweds Dan and Melanie Hedlund were in for some startling news—Dan had osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
“It was pretty shocking,” says Dan. “We were still in the honeymoon phase of life and excited about starting our lives together. We didn’t know what to expect.”
A second opinion brought Dan to Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). “I feel comfortable putting my life in the hands of these doctors any day of the week,” he says. “They’re not just good at what they do, they’re passionate about what they do.”
Because of his age and strong overall health, Dan’s physician, Lor Randall, MD, director of Sarcoma Services at HCI and an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Utah, chose an aggressive treatment regimen. Dan says it’s been rough, but he’s up to the challenge. “He’s not trying to extend my life by a couple of years, he’s trying to cure me. Because I was so young, we didn’t have to be conservative.”
Dan has undergone surgery and chemotherapy, and has responded well to treatment. He and his medical team are optimistic about his prognosis.
“I haven’t been that worried cancer would take my life. I’ve tried to get busy living. Even if I only had a one-percent chance, somebody has to be that one percent. Why not me?”
Learn more about sarcoma in our cancer types and topics, or visit the Sarcoma Services webpages.