Shutdown shuts out man's chance at life-saving cancer treatment - FOX 13 News

Shutdown shuts out Brighton father's chance at life-saving cancer treatment

Posted: Updated:
Mark Howell, 31 Mark Howell, 31
  • More on the 2013 government shutdownMore>>

  • Shutdown shuts out Brighton father's chance at life-saving cancer treatment

    Shutdown shuts out Brighton father's chance at life-saving cancer treatment

    Thursday, October 3 2013 6:13 AM EDT2013-10-03 10:13:34 GMT
    Doctors recommend an aggressive procedure to attack a man's stage 4 skin cancer, but the treatment is at the National Institute of Cancer, a facility now closed off to new patients during the shutdown.
    Each day the government remains shutdown limits the number of days a Brighton father could have left to live. Doctors recommend an aggressive procedure to attack his stage 4 skin cancer. But the treatment is at the National Institute of Cancer, a facility now closed off to new patients during the shutdown.
  • Sound Off: #shutdown3words

    Sound Off: #shutdown3words

    Wednesday, October 2 2013 5:45 PM EDT2013-10-02 21:45:36 GMT
    Add three words to describe how you feel about the government shut down to our Facebook or Twitter page with #shutdown3words and we'll pull it together in one nice feed to send to DC.
    Let the government know what you think!  Add three words to describe how you feel about the government shut down to our Facebook or Twitter page with #shutdown3words and we'll pull it together in one nice feed to send to Washington DC.
  • How the government shutdown could affect flu season

    How the government shutdown could affect flu season

    Wednesday, October 2 2013 11:35 AM EDT2013-10-02 15:35:13 GMT
    This is the time of year we're used to hearing about the big flu forecast. The feds talk about what strains to look out for and how big or bad it could be, but for now you'll hear nothing from the CDC.
    This is the time of year we're used to hearing about the big flu forecast. The feds talk about what strains to look out for and how big or bad it could be, but for now you'll hear nothing from the Center for Disease Control.
BRIGHTON, Mich. (WJBK) -

Each day the government remains shutdown limits the number of days a Brighton father could have left to live.

Mark Howell, 31, was diagnosed with stage-four melanoma just two weeks after his son was born about a year ago. The cancer has continued to grow and spread, and Howell's body is not responding to chemotherapy. Doctors are recommending an aggressive procedure to attack the cancer.

But that procedure is only available at the National Institute of Cancer, a facility now closed off to new patients as a result of the government shutdown.  

"The number of new patients that are now shut out from being accepted are about 200 patients, I think it was a week. And about 30 of those are children," said Howell. "And that's the one that I really struggled with is ... you know, we have children that are much worse off than our situation. And they're not going to have an opportunity to get treatment, perhaps at all, and it might be their very last chance to survive."

The family does have a Plan B: A treatment center in Houston that offers a similar procedure, but it is one that is not quite as aggressive.

"With the type of cancer and growth we've seen in my body, we kind of need to be as aggressive as possible," Howell adds.

"I don't know if there's an option to do it again if it doesn't work the first time, to do it again somewhere else. I don't think that's an option. So, we kind of have one shot at it, and, you know it's our life."

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:08:38 GMT
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap.
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap. Authorities also say they are now looking for a small motorcycle in addition to the gray, dented van seen in the area.
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:05:54 GMT
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices