SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Many of us have faced battles in 2020 we never imagined we would meet. But few have had to endure the hurdles of Bryce Olson.
"I started to come to terms with my own mortality," said Olson in November of 2018. "I didn't even think I would see my kid get out of elementary school, and I started losing hope."
We have been following Bryce Olson's story for over two years. We profiled the Oregon man because he had been traveling to San Diego for research and precision therapies for his Stage 4 Metastatic Prostate Cancer. And then the pandemic hit.
"It makes me feel that I'm a sitting duck," added Olson back in March.
Our Michael Chen revisited Olson nine months ago at the beginning of the pandemic. COVID-19 cases were on the rise, and Olson had to weigh the risk of traveling with a weak immune system or slowly dying without his treatment.
"It was kind of this Sophie's Choice issue of, you know I might die of cancer in the long term, but gosh COVID could kill me in the short term," said Olson just last week.
But instead, something remarkable happened when Olson's story started spreading.
"And then your piece aired, and an amazing individual, super generous, kind individual saw that, and he had access to private transportation," said Olson with a smile.
That good Samaritan was co-founder and former CEO of Sprouts, Shon Boney. He provided a private plane so Bryce could fly into San Diego for his treatments until he was healthy enough to fly commercially.
"He got me out of my shell," added Olson. "He got me back into San Diego, comfortable going into the hospital with my N95 mask and he increased my confidence in being able to do this."
The timing was perfect. Olson couldn't spare another missed treatment. The cancer had spread to his spine, and within weeks he would have been unable to walk. But that was just the beginning of his renewed hope. WIRED then picked up Olson's story, which has led to even more attention, a consortium of his case study and the potential for revolutionary experimental therapies through Research to the People benefiting not just Olson but millions of other cancer patients.
"What's happened post WIRED is I've got all these researchers, scientists, and medical professionals that want to help me take this amazing set of data," added Olson. "And they'll use that and compare it with data that they have, and then make inferences if you will or hypothesize what I should do next."
All of this has left Olson grateful in this Season of Hope. Grateful for Ashley, his girlfriend here in San Diego, and newfound love. Grateful for his daughter, who will get more time with her father than was first expected. And, of course, the medical community.
"I'm grateful for the amazing medical professionals, and scientists, and researchers that have helped me and get me as far as I am today," says Olson. "And who I know will help me live decades into the future. I'm grateful for that."