By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Josh Wren, a 2010 graduate of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School, has been battling colon and liver cancer since last fall.
Wren began to notice something was wrong in the fall of 2014, when he felt pain and other discomfort in his abdomen.
He went to a doctor at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, who told him to schedule a colonoscopy.
A week later, Wren’s doctors at Two Twelve Medical Center in Chaska found a cancerous tumor in his colon.
He was then referred to a colon surgeon at the Mayo Clinic Office in Edina.
Following more exams and tests, Wren was informed that he has a rare disease called “Polyposis.”
“Polyposis” is an inherited condition that causes extra tissue to form in the large intestine and lower part of the small intestine, and frequently results in cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
After the diagnosis, doctors scheduled Wren for more tests to get measurements of the tumor and check for spread of the cancer cells.
“The doctors found that some of the cancer cells had broken away and moved to my liver, as well,” Wren noted. “At that point, I was officially diagnosed with stage four colon cancer and liver cancer.”
Wren was sent to an oncologist in Waconia, where he and his family made a treatment plan with the doctor.
Wren is completing multiple forms of chemotherapy, which include intravenous (IV) treatments once every three weeks, and oral medication that he alternates three weeks on and one week off.
“Even though I am trying to keep everything as normal as possible, it affects my everyday life quite a bit,” Wren stated.
Each time he has IV chemotherapy treatments, it takes about a week before he begins feeling healthy enough to leave the house, he said.
“Down the road, I will have to have surgery on my liver and will have to have my colon completely replaced,” Wren noted. “But we are unsure when all that is going to happen.”
After two sessions of IV chemotherapy, a computed tomography (CT) scan is done to track the progress of treatment, and plans are made for further treatment.
“I have had one CT scan so far, about two weeks ago, and we did get some good news,” Wren excitedly expressed. “So far, the treatment is working and everything has been shrinking at a good rate!”
He has a lot of family and friends supporting him through this, he said.
“My parents, Jerry and Pam, have been with me each time I have a doctor appointment, and are always ready and willing to help me with anything I need at home,” Wren stated.
He has been amazed with the number of cards and gifts he has received from family and friends.
“I have also had a lot of support from my ‘racing family,’” Wren commented. “The benefit was set up by the people I know from racing with my dad over the years.”
Benefit in Biscay
A benefit will take place Saturday, Feb. 28 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Neisen’s Bar and Grill in Biscay.
The benefit will include a spaghetti dinner and silent auction.
Wren is excited to see everyone at the benefit, and expressed his appreciation for all his supporters.
Tickets for the event may be purchased in advance, $7 for adults, $4 for children 10 and younger; or at the door, $8 for adults, $5 for children 10 and younger.
For more information about the benefit or donations, contact Kari at (320) 296-6510, Missy at (507) 317-7881, or e-mail email@example.com.
Donations may also be sent to Josh Wren Benefit, Security Bank and Trust, 735 11th Street East, Glencoe, MN 55336; or www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/cq17/joshwrenbenefit.
More about Josh
Josh Wren was raised in Howard Lake.
Following high school graduation, he attended Ridgewater College, where he obtained a marketing and sales management associate’s degree in 2012.
Wren now attends Ridgewater for a second associate’s degree in non-destructive testing.
He has worked as a wireless sales consultant for Best Buy for two years, in Duluth previously, currently Minnetonka.