Michael Brady's Journey of Real Hope

Michael Brady's Journey of Real Hope

Michael Brady’s cancer journey began in 2006, when he began having severe migraines. After consulting a neurologist and a hematologist in Hamilton, he was diagnosed with polycythemia, a type of Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN)—a blood cancer.

“It was hard. I would tell myself I will do whatever I have to do to survive. At times it was despair, because it was sad to see my family have to go through that and it was very challenging for them on many levels,” says Brady.

Over time, Brady’s disease became high-risk. His hematologist recommended that he seek the care of Dr. Vikas Gupta at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre—a physician and researcher who has gained international recognition for his ground-breaking work on MPNs.

“He was a fantastic doctor in many ways. When you entrust your care in somebody, there are different things you sense or feel or evaluate. Everything from my perspective with interacting with Dr. Gupta, has been beyond expectations,” Brady says.

Brady’s disease grew more debilitating, with an onslaught of regular nightly sweats, insomnia – even going up the stairs becoming a difficult task. He was officially diagnosed with myelofibrosis – a more aggressive MPN – in February 2014. Brady, then 41, was told his life expectancy was two to four years, with additional drug therapy. He looked to Dr. Gupta for support in preparing himself for what was to come.

“I think I was very lucky to have Dr. Gupta and The Princess Margaret behind me,” Brady says. “I can’t describe the care at Princess Margaret other than it being the best in the world from my perspective. The care, was beyond care.”

Dr. Gupta recommended an intense treatment strategy for Brady. He recommended that Brady have a stem cell transplant and that he enroll in a clinical trial, in combination with a modified chemotherapy regimen.

“He is a very motivated patient. I use his story as inspiration to tell other patients who have to go through a transplant,” Dr. Gupta says.

Brady’s cancer is now in remission. He says his progress, under Dr. Gupta’s care, would not have been possible without the support from The Princess Margaret.