OUR ACC FAMILY
Features the courage and strength of our growing community of ACC Warriors
Micah Ternahan was 4 years old when he was diagnosed with stage 4 ACC, just days before Christmas of 2019. While undergoing an intense chemotherapy protocol over 9 grueling months at St. Jude's in Memphis, TN, most of which Micah’s mother Heather describes as a "blur", the Ternahan family became connected to Sarah’s ACC Warriors. Heather recalls,
“ACC is a diagnosis that can make you feel alone. They ushered us in to the ACC family. We were really loved on by them. I stalked their page. I read everything I could about Sarah. I watched her video. I could literally feel her cheering on Micah. It was intense. I could feel her presence as if I knew her."
Micah was the recipient of the ACC Warriors 2020 Bravery Award.
“They raised a lot of money for us and it was EXACTLY what we needed,” Heather shares. “We moved for Micah’s treatment with 7 kids. We were and continue to do a lot of integrative therapies. It’s all very expensive.”
Heather goes on to share how much she cherishes her connection to Sarah and ACC Warriors, “Her power and love left an imprint on my family that will always be so special to us.”
Micah is currently NED (no evidence of disease) and pursuing integrative medicine as his second phase of healing. Micah’s family’s faith and hope have been and continue to be an inspiration to many, and their support system grows everyday.
ACC is a diagnosis that can make you feel alone. They ushered us in to the ACC family. We were really loved on by them. I stalked their page. I read everything I could about Sarah. I watched her video. I could literally feel her cheering on Micah. It was intense. I could feel her presence as if I knew her.
Heather Ternahan, Micah's mom, on Sarah, Mike (President and Founder), and ACC Warriors
Mandie Stone and her husband have been together since the 8th grade. They share a beautiful life and 3 children together. Since the age of 18, Mandie has battled with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a condition which had been largely stable for a number of years. At a routine scan in August of 2017, doctors identified a mass by her right kidney which led to her diganosis of stage 3 Adrenocortical Carcinoma at the age of 36. While some would call her unlucky, her MS ultimately saved her life.
Had her aggressive tumor had more time to grow, had she not been going in for routine scans for an unrelated condition, Mandie may not be here today.
Mandie underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy, a massive surgery to remove her tumor in January of 2018, and 25 rounds of radiation. This, combined with Mitotane, a “wicked nasty” drug used to combat adrenal function in ACC patients, affected both her body and mind in unimaginable ways. Mandie would go on to take this drug for almost 3 years, and has been NED ever since.
Mandie knows more about ACC than one would ever wish to, including the devastatingly low survival rates. "Why me?" she wonders, "Not why did I have cancer - but the guilt of living and making it through. I didn’t fight any harder or pray any longer. I am not any better than anyone else. This cancer is so ruthless that it rips through families lives both young and old.”
She recalls that despite the struggle, she and her family were brought closer together than ever, and she formed cherished relationships with individuals from the ACC community. "I carry a piece of them with me everyday."
Mandie has worked to find the positive in this tragedy that she and her family have endured. She strives to be a better mother and wife each day. Now, as a board member of this organization, she hopes to educate others, to support ACC Warriors in the way she was supported, and to fight against this disease.
Each one of them left an amazing impression on my soul that I would’ve never had before. I carry a little piece of each of them with me everyday. My heart truly breaks every single time we lose another mom, dad, sister or brother to ACC.
Mandie Stone, on her own connections to fellow ACC Warriors