Diagnosed with cancer three times by the age of 37, Josh Smith considers himself to be “the luckiest man alive.”
A Western High School counselor for the past 13 years, Josh is also a husband and the father of four young children. In 2014, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and successfully treated at Henry Ford Allegiance Health, under the care of medical oncologist Elias Hazzi, MD.
Four years later, severe stomach pain turned out to be a malignant colon tumor that had spread to his lymph nodes. For someone still in his mid-30s, “that was very rough news,” Josh said.
Henry Ford Allegiance Health Chief of Surgery Shawn Obi, MD, came to Josh’s hospital room on a Friday to say he had scheduled surgery for first thing Monday morning. “I was missing my wife and kids, and it was an emotional moment,” Josh said. “But Dr. Obi’s confidence gave me confidence as well.”
Shortly after leaving Josh’s room, Dr. Obi came back. He had decided not to wait until Monday but to perform the surgery on Saturday.
“Dr. Obi must have sensed my worry and my urgency. I was touched by his compassion.”Josh Smith, oncology patient
Josh followed surgery with a full course of chemotherapy. “Once again, Dr. Hazzi’s calm, levelheaded demeanor and his concern for me and my family helped me get through my treatment,” Josh said.
Not long after completing treatment, Josh was diagnosed with skin cancer. Fortunately, it was detected early and was highly treatable. Josh said his three cancer experiences made him “appreciate having local access to such a high level of care.”
Looking forward to a healthier future, Josh is fully recovered and back to “enjoying time with my family, living life fully and investing in other people and my church.”