20-year-old Michael Tatalovich was given a second chance at life, and he's determined to make it count.
Currently studying at the University of Texas at Austin, the Henderson native will embark on a 4,000-mile cycling tour through North America to generate awareness and fundraise for cancer research. He will depart on June 3 from Austin, Texas and travel through 10 states, then north along the Canadian west coast to Anchorage, Alaska, where he will end his journey on August 12.
Tatalovich is one of 67 cyclists making the tour with a nonprofit organization called Texas 4000.
In 2013, Tatalovic discovered that the searing pain in his leg was stage 2 Ewing's Sarcoma. Ten days later, he was receiving aggressive chemotherapy treatment for up to eight hours daily, every other week.
"The active, confident, and independent version of me had been washed away in a torrent of chemicals and toxins. I was relegated to a wheelchair as my femur had been crushed under the weight of the tumor," said Tatalovic.
The teenager underwent surgery for a partial hip replacement to remove the tumor and replace his femur with a titanium rod. After several more chemotherapy sessions, Tatalovich's disease finally went into remission.