Michael Stallings, at right, is undergoing treatments for leukemia. He and his wife are very grateful to friends and volunteers who have made repairs on their home since he was hospitalized.
By: Lisa Bicknell
It has been an eventful year for Michael “Moonshine Mike” Stallings. He’s had some exciting accomplishments, including an appearance on a Netflix show called Heist, and he’s been the subject of a documentary titled, “Who is Michael Stallings?”
But it’s been a year of struggle too. For more than a year, Michael has had bouts of illness that doctors first diagnosed as an auto-immune disease.
In the fall, his symptoms worsened. After many tests and evaluations, it was determined that Michael has an aggressive type of acute myeloid leukemia.
On October 7, he was admitted to a Lexington hospital to begin chemo, and a couple of days later, he took a turn for the worse. He spent six days in the ICU. Sondra said, “I really thought he was going to leave here.”
Doctors began chemotherapy treatment while he was still in ICU.
On October 15, he was finally well enough to be moved to the “chemo” floor. He has since lost his hair and suffered many ill effects from the treatment.
He later developed an infection in the pic line, which caused infection around his heart.
During the many days that Michael Stallings spent in the hospital, his wife Sondra by his side, they have been overwhelmed by the love and support of their friends who have organized fundraisers, built a ramp at their home and made other improvements. They have also brought food and other supplies to the hospital.
On December 1, Michael was finally able to come home after a 75-day stay.
At home, he could see for himself the projects that friends and loved ones had completed around their home during their absence.
“A guy who didn’t even know us” donated materials for a new roof on the house.
Someone rebuilt the bedroom floor, had city water installed, and trees were cut and cleared from the property. New posts and other repairs were made on the porch, a wheelchair ramp was built, a propane tank was filled and a septic tank got cleaned.
Friends and neighbors fed and looked after their home and their dogs.
A go-fund me page was set up to help with the expenses associated with medical treatment.
“We want to say a big thank you to the many people who have helped on the house, donated, or taken care of things,” said Sondra.
“There are not enough words to say how we appreciate all this.”
After a week at home, the Stallings reported back to the hospital last Wednesday for a bone marrow biopsy and were encouraged to learn that Michael’s leukemia was in remission!
Michael’s brother will be tested to see if he is a good match to be a bone marrow donor for Michael, who will require a transplant.
If his brother is not a good match, Michael’s name will be entered into a national database to try to match him up with someone.
At this point in their lives, Michael and Sondra are still dependent on their friends and family for help, but they are hopeful to one day be able to “pay it forward” again.
“We appreciate everyone so much,” said Sondra.