Hello, my name is Mason Stapley, and I am a 19-year-old college student who lives in Irons, Michigan, just on the border of Mason County. I am currently attending the West Shore Community College Police Academy which has been my goal since I was in high school. I hope to become a Manistee County Sheriff’s Deputy and be working full time by the end of spring 2022.
In April of 2021, I was diagnosed with DMG (Diffuse Midline Glioma), a cancer that is in the brain stem and is typically very aggressive and terminal within a year. This was the worst news of my life, and I had no idea how to handle it at the time. Luckily, I had my family around me to help deal with what was going on. When I thought things couldn’t get worse, I was told I had three months to live and there was essentially nothing we could do as far as treatment.
The same day I was diagnosed in Traverse City, I was admitted to Mott’s Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan to get treatment from an eager doctor who wanted to treat me and specialized in these types of brain tumors. At U of M, I received amazing treatment from some of the best doctors my family and I could ever ask for. I have had a brain biopsy done to confirm the type of tumor it was, underwent 16 treatments of radiation, and am continuing a bi-weekly infusion that I receive at U of M.
I am very blessed to be where I am today thanks to the community, my family, and everyone who has supported me to this point. It allows me to keep fighting and have hope for the future on a day-to-day basis.
Since being diagnosed, I have gotten to experience some of the happiest moments of my life. One of the biggest was a guided hunt in Texas which was organized by the Childhood Cancer Campaign and Legends Taxidermy where I made some of the best memories of my life with my dad, Craig Stapley, and girlfriend, Lauren Guenthardt.