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Coworkers urge man to get wellness exam and it saved his life

Posted at 2:40 PM, Nov 27, 2018

You may not think about going to the doctor regularly to check up on your health, especially when you’re feeling fine. But the decision to get a wellness exam saved this man’s life.

Brian Schroeder enjoys the work he does as a heavy equipment line supervisor. He refers to his coworkers as family, and he says it was his work family who saved his life.

A coworker kept encouraging Schroeder to get his annual exam through their company's wellness program.  

“After about three years of prodding and everything, I finally said, ‘OK, I’ll go do it.’”

He got the exam, and it came with results he wasn’t expecting.

“And he said, ‘Brian, I’ve got bad news for you.’ He said, ‘You have extremely bad cancer.’”  

Brian had aggressive prostate cancer, and he says he didn’t have any symptoms.

“I was sitting up in my truck there in total shock,” Schroeder says after he got the news.

In the weeks between his biopsy and surgery, the cancer went from stage one to stage four. Again, Schroeder says he felt no symptoms of the cancer.

“If I would've waited four more weeks, you know, who knows what would happen. I may not be here now,” he says.

Sandra Crews—an employee at United Healthcare, which operated Schroeder’s wellness plan—says 1 in 3 people find out they have an underlying condition in a wellness exam.

“I think Brian’s story is absolutely incredible, and as remarkable as it is, unfortunately it's not that unusual,” Crews says.

Now, Schroeder is cancer free, and he’s even more grateful for his work family. He says his story is encouraging his coworkers to get the wellness exam, too.