Marquette University president shares cancer story

Signs of support are scattered throughout Marquette University President Michael Lovell’s office.

"Go to your happy place. We’re in this together," Lovell said while reading Post-It notes hanging on his computer screens.

The men’s golf team gave him a flag with signatures and scriptures. The women’s basketball team filled balloons with inspirational messages.

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"So when I pop the balloon, inside there is a motivational message," Lovell said.

These items and more were given to Lovell as he navigated a challenging chapter in his life.

Post-it on Michael Lovell's computer

"It starts back in March of last year. I noticed I had a small lump on my stomach," he said.

That lump lead to an MRI, a biopsy and then a cancer diagnosis.

Michael Lovell

"I found out it was sarcoma. There are 68 types of sarcoma, and I ended up finding I had one of the rare forms, which less than 2,000 get a year," Lovell said.

When Lovell announced his rare cancer diagnosis in 2021, he was 54 and in seemingly great physical shape. The avid runner said his faith helped him process and accept the unknown.

"I thought that was an important step to take. To have God take control of it instead of me worrying about it all the time," he said.

Michael Lovell

In an exclusive TV interview with FOX6's Aaron Maybin, Lovell said he finished his last chemotherapy treatment in February. He said radiation took a toll on his body. Treatment was hard on his loved ones.

"The radiation effected my esophagus and my ability to drink and eat. It was hard. I got fairly weak," he said. "To me, the hardest part of my diagnosis and my health challenges is seeing the way it affects those around you, particularly seeing them suffer."

Lovell said he has not missed a day of work, due to his diagnosis. His journey is not over.

Michael Lovell

"Right now, I’m at the point where I get scans every three months," Lovell said.

Cancer takes a lot. It has given Lovell a newfound appreciate for life and his support system.

"Don’t ever underestimate just how powerful a little thing you can do to support somebody can be. Whether it’s just smiling or saying hello," he said.

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