CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Meet Mike Bieda, a man who fought cancer and continues to fight, but what makes him unique is his story of hope.

In October, we talked a lot about cancer awareness and education, but cancer does not discriminate and certainly does not work on our timeline.

Bieda’s life is much different than five short years ago.

“I mean, I was totally prepared to die; I really was. I mean, I had planned my funeral, everything,” Bieda said.

Back in 2018, the 73-year-old was retired from the Maryland state police and living with his wife in Bluffton. At the time, he went to see his mother in Mississippi and then on a trip to Alaska but felt terrible.

He could not stop coughing. Bieda’s daughter, a nurse at MUSC, made him come to Charleston to figure out what was wrong.

A battery of tests and a CAT scan later, Mike Bieda finally had his answer.

“They said you have kidney cancer,” Bieda said.

He had stage four cancer. In fact, it had grown beyond the kidney. He had an 11-hour surgery to get rid of the clear cell carcinoma that encapsulated his kidney and wrapped itself around his vena cava, the largest vein in the body.

Mike went through all kinds of treatment, and at his low point, when he thought he couldn’t make it any further, he was about ready to call it. His daughter did not have it.

“We’re so used to giving our kids talks she turned around and gave me a talk and said Dad, we are not stopping; we are gonna continue to do this; we have good doctors, and we are gonna work on this, and she was right she says you’re not gonna give up,” Bieda said.

Yet the cancer came back in 2019 to his liver, but at this point, there is no chance of self-pity. What came out of cancer for Bieda was a message for others dealing with the same disease.

“… don’t give up hope. Cancer it can end your life. I’m not gonna say it’s not. It can be terminal, but in the time you have left, use it wisely; use it to help other people get through what you are going through. I feel I’ve been very fortunate, and I feel I want to give people hope that they can do the same thing,” Bieda said.

So, with the help of friends, family, prayer, and some good doctors, Bieda is proud to say for the past year, he’s been cancer-free.

While his story may not be the same as others who are battling cancer, Mike Bieda says he is with you every step of the way.

“When my doctor says to me he says now you’re not gonna die from cancer, what are you gonna do with the rest of your life? I really had to think. What am I gonna do? And this is one way of doing it. Trying to get the word out that hey, there’s hope,” Bieda said.

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