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Michael – Dance On

When Michael Yi tells the story of his cancer journey, he sounds like a grateful man reciting the stories of a hundred blessings.

As for all cancer patients, Michael’s diagnosis came at exactly the wrong time. His family had just taken a cruise, his home was in disarray from a remodeling project, and he had young twins and a college-age stepson at home. “They’re at the age now where I want to spend as much time as I can with them. Her son likewise. He’s going to Georgia Southern so he’s taking a break and he’s back at home.”

He also had a hobby, salsa dancing, a gift he shares with the community. “I bring a group to dance and I have taught a salsa lesson for free to the survivors at Relay For Life for the past three or four years.”

The way Michael tells it, everything lined up for his family in the best way it could have in the face of cancer.

His diagnosis was accelerated with the help of a family friend who happened to be a long-time oncology nurse. He works for Gwinnett County Public Schools, which meant a summer off during the heart of his chemotherapy regimen. Michael of Cuban and Chinese descent met his Cuban wife through dance, and his oncologist turned out to be Cuban as well.

Michael sees, in all of these things, gifts from God. “What is the reason? I firmly believe. We go to 12Stone and we’re very good followers of Christ, and we strongly believe that He has a plan for everything and if we have faith in Him everything will work out.”

One of those gifts was a determined personality. “I refused to give in to it. I have so much to live for. My wife, my children, my job, my family. Is this going to be the last time I dance? I was given a second chance. Not everybody’s given a second chance. Do what’s right, love your family, follow God, and have faith that He has a plan. Appreciate what you have because there’s people out there that have less.”