CLAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — You may remember the name Ken Hatter, we first told you about the Manlius Police Sergeant with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September 2018.
With the help of his community and a bone marrow drive that September, after an 11-year battle, Ken finally got his match. He had a bone marrow transplant at the end of November 2018. After a few scares and hospital trips, Ken officially came home just in time for Christmas Eve.
NewsChannel 9’s Nicole Sommavilla has been following his journey and caught up with the Hatters to see how they’re doing, one year later.
Laughter fills the Hatter house on a daily basis, it’s a much different noise than the quiet when Ken was in the hospital battling stage four cancer. “You try to put that other stuff behind you,” said Ken.
Ken’s immune system still isn’t where it should be and he’s still getting vaccines, so he’s very cautious around people who may be sick. “I mean the last thing I wanna do is beat cancer, but then get Polio or the Measles,” said Ken.
Even though he still has more vaccines to get, Ken is off anti-rejection medications, working full-time, and even took a family trip to Disney.
“When I got home I wasn’t able to even walk, it took me like 20 minutes to walk to the end of the driveway to check the mail, it was terrible. Then when we went down to Disney a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that in one day just walking around the park, that I walked over 12.5 miles,” said Ken.
Ken and his wife Lisa are adjusting to a new normal, living a life they wanted to get back to for more than a decade. “You don’t realize what your kids have been through and what they’ve seen until now here we are a year later and the kids were riding bikes this summer at camp and they’re like, ‘daddy didn’t have to stop to throw up once,'” said Lisa.
Riding a bike is a small feat many may take for granted, but not the Hatters. “I want to make longterm plans because you don’t want to get into that mindset of you know, ‘I’m not gonna be here tomorrow,’ cause that was a reality at one point,” said Ken.
Ken never lost his will to fight or his sense of humor, but the biggest change since being cancer-free is his outlook on life. “Who cares about your car and your house and all these things, they’re completely irrelevant and they don’t matter.”
The Hatter house is once again full of laughter and fatherly advice. “Just don’t ever give up, you never ever quit because you never know what tomorrow is gonna bring,” said Ken.
Last year, the Hatters vowed to pay it forward and continue holding blood drives with bone marrow screenings.
The next drive sponsored by the Manlius Police Department and COR Development is being held from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on January 31 at the Towne Center at Fayetteville in the community room.
To register, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to the website and enter the code: SGTKEN.
For more local news follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter/NeSommavilla.
More from NewsChannel 9:
- WATCH: Another cool and sunny day
- Bills relying on Andre Roberts’ dynamic return skills once again
- Fantasy Spotlight Week 2
- Bills bring in reinforcements at linebacker for Sunday’s game vs. Dolphins
- 28-year-old LaFayette native, Bishop Ludden grad dies from COVID-19