November 25, 2009 – WLUK FOX 11 News in Green Bay aired a special interview with Eric at home. Thank you so much to everyone at Fox News for helping us reach out to the community. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! -The McLean Family
By: Becky DeVries
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? One lakeshore man is grateful for the big things, the little things, and one thing that will likely surprise you. Click on the headline for Becky DeVries’ full report.
“It’s a miracle that i’m sitting here talking to you, that i’m doing this interview,” said Eric McLean.
When it comes to miracles, Eric has witnessed a few.
“Im not just gonna sit down and let this run its course,” Eric told FOX 11 in June.
Earlier this year, inspired by a movie, Eric made a list of things he wanted to accomplish before his time on earth was up….which looked like it was perhaps months away, because Eric was diagnosed with leukemia for the third time.
“Here I am 25 years old thinking this could be the end of it all and there’s so much out there I wanted to see and do, that was kind of a pretty crazy two months or so,” Eric said.
Those “crazy two months” included sky diving, driving a dodge viper, throwing out the first pitch at the Brewers game, taking a trip to Las Vegas, and a tropical family vacation.
Later in the summer Eric’s health declined. He was in the hospital for about a month, and says the chemotherapy he received didn’t help. Then doctors tried a new regimen of drugs, and Eric’s health started to improve….so much that there was no trace of leukemia cells in his bone marrow.
“One of the happiest moments of my life,” Eric says of learning there was no trace of leukemia in his bone marrow. “Given the prognosis I was giving in June, it was unbelievable, so, things like Thanksgiving take on a whole new meaning.”
This Thanksgiving Eric is grateful for something most people in his shoes probably wouldn’t be grateful for.
“I’m thankful for what I have. I’ve got leukemia and i’ve been told a number of times now i’ve got weeks or months to live and i’m still here. And i’m thankful for that. I’m thankful that I have leukemia because I know somewhere else in this world someone is having a heck of a lot worse day than I am,” explained Eric.
“(It) brings you down to your knees,” said Eric’s sister Lindsey McLean.
Lindsey donated her stem cells to him more than a year ago. She, like the rest of the family, is grateful her brother is here.
“That’s our number one, eric’s here with us on Thanksgiving. And we weren’t sure Eric would be here with us in July, August, it’s November,” said Lindsey.
“Oh we’ve had some wonderful moments the past few months,” said Eric’s mother Mary McLean.
This month, Eric’s family has extra grateful hearts.
“Family. Friends. Thankful for the fact that I can set my Thanksgiving table and I can put that plate down for my son because he’s here,” said Mary. “So I can set the table and it’ll be complete this year, and that – there’s nothing better.”
While Eric McLean may have experienced some thrills this year, simply sitting in front of that plate on Thanksgiving Day is a milestone of its own.
Eric says he’s grateful for “Being able to wake up every day. Today is the greatest day of my life and tomorrow will be even greater than today.”
Eric’s family has been able to check some things off the bucket list because of the generosity of others. His family is grateful for all kinds of support they have received from thousands of people.