Someone 2 Know: Michelle Middleton - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Someone 2 Know: Michelle Middleton

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Kristen Remington
Channel 2 News

If you drive through Carson City during the work week, there is a good chance you will spot a group trekking through town every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. The group is made up of walkers of all ages, backgrounds and life experiences.

One woman's story, however, inspires them all.

Michelle Middleton is out walking rain or shine; nothing stops her. After all, she is a warrior. Few people can imagine walking a mile in her shoes.

In 1987, Michelle took on her first battle with cancer. Doctors diagnosed her with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, which required three years of chemotherapy. Treatment worked, but it badly damaged her heart. Thankfully, she received a new one. With joy in her heart, she tells her walking group, "July 21st will be 10 years for my heart transplant."

Just last year though, Michelle came face-to-face with another obstacle. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. She endured bilateral radical mastectomies and even more chemo.

Through it all, she continues to smile. "I'm very blessed. I'm very thankful. The Lord gave me the strength to get through everything. Instead of asking "why me," Michelle gives thanks for the gifts she has been given, like her doctors, her friends and finding a donor family. She knows all too well that not everyone is as lucky. Michelle lost her mom, who, too, was waiting for a transplant. "So many people die every day because they don't receive life. It's too late for them."

She takes nothing for granted and makes the most of every day. Amid her trials, she started her own business called Tender Loving Child Care and Pet Sitting. She also drives the disabled to church events. Plus, Michelle has been to the Olympics. And no, not as a spectator!

Michelle played table tennis in the U.S. Transplant Games. "I got a silver medal. Yes. I placed second!" I asked if it surprised her. "It did. I was so excited," she said with a giggle. Michelle also competed in basketball and badminton in 2008.

Her excitement to compete in the bi-annual event spills over into everyday life. She believes every day is a gift and she serves as a testament to others that you can make it through anything if you just take it one day at a time. Her advice to others: "Don't give up. Just keep going. Positive attitude."

Michelle also told me she fluctuates between Stage 2 and 3 renal failure and will need a kidney transplant eventually, too.

She is now working to educate others about the importance of organ, tissue and eye donations. More than 112,000 people are on a national waiting list for organs. You can register to become a donor at www.DonateLifeNevada.org. Or you can become a registered organ donor on Facebook.

To learn more about Michelle's business, Tender Loving Child Care & Pet Sitting, call (775) 720-5496.

To learn more about the Carson City Table Tennis Club which meets every week, click on this link: http://www.carsoncitytabletennisclub.com/

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