TAMPA, Fla. — Ronnie Setser was diagnosed with throat and neck cancer. Mike Graf has a cancerous tumor in his brain.
The two men would have never met or developed the friendship they did if they haven’t both been diagnosed with cancer at the same time and shared the will to live.
“He had the 10 o’clock appointment and I had the 10:20 appointment,” Graf said.
When Setser first started treatment at Tampa General Hospital, he said he was devastated, down and depressed. Then he met Graf.
“The first day I met you, all I wanted was peace and quiet and you were so dang happy, I couldn’t believe it,” Setser recalled about meeting Graf.
Setser said Graf’s positive attitude pulled him out of the sad point in his life and changed it for the better.
“If you don’t have a positive attitude when you are going through something like this, it can get long, and it can get very depressing. And I don’t like being depressed,” Graf said.
After seeing each other Monday through Friday for 35 days of radiation treatment, they’ve formed quite the bond. They text each other daily and talk about their bucket lists.
Graf’s list included riding or owning a T-bucket car. Setser said he just so happens to own a custom car shop. So, on Graf’s last day of radiation, Setser surprised him with a ride in his Ford Model T-Bucket.
On Thursday Graf surprised Sester on his last day of radiation. The two said it feels like they’ve known each other forever.
“With him being positive, I started realizing, after he told me his story, the type of cancer that he had," Setser said. "It had floored me when he told me that. And I thought about it for days and days. He was so positive. I just thought, to me that that was so awesome."
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