After having suffered cancer, Heath Ritenour, IOA CEO, is now healthy and eager for what awaits him at the next level. While he was sick, the community motivated him and supported him all the way; hence he appreciates that that’s what IOA is built on in terms of its relationship.
When Heath began undergoing chemotherapy, he experienced various side effects that were unpleasant to his body. He was utterly broken at some point because the doctors had difficulty in finding in his hand veins that they would use to start a drip which would run for five hours. These were some of the instances that made him almost give up because he couldn’t take it anymore, but the family from IOA and community made him persevere all that.
Heath Ritenour then began talking to Michael at the time. Having a similar age to that of Heath, Michael shared his stories about cancer. He explained that he had colon cancer which was diagnosed to be on Stage 4. He had undergone surgery, but the doctors weren’t optimistic about his situation. Too much cancer remained in his body; hence the chemo would be an option for his condition. The doctors instead opted to prevent the tumor from growing rather than kill it. Michael told Heath Ritenour that he had done chemo his whole life, and it doesn’t matter what the results would be for him.
The story about Michael changed the perception of Heath. He suddenly felt that the situation he was in wasn’t that terrible as that of Michael. During their conversation, Heath also learned about a lady known as Judy who previously had cancer and was in a similar situation as Michael but overcame it to become cancer-free, and she is okay. From this deep conversation, Heath acquired a profound realization that he found inspiration that helped him more to offer help to others despite battling cancer.