Tori Drew

Written by Tori Drew @toridrew

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“I think the best way to look at these moments in life is that they’re a gift, because they give you empathy. They let you know about things that are more important than you realized. That you relate to people in ways that matter the most.”

With a career as a professor, computer programmer, and musician, Michael Hawley shares the very personal story of two miracles on the frontiers of science and medicine, and how they came crashing together.

The first miracle, after 13 years of trying to start a family and countless IVF treatments, Michael and his wife Nina made one last attempt with IVF therapy, and this time it worked. Their son Tycho arrived one month early, and very healthy.

Five months later, Michael would undergo surgery and get diagnosed with aggressive colon cancer. After six weeks of chemotherapy things looked grim, the cancer had spread.

The second miracle, science stepped in again, and gave Michael a second chance with a small, phase two trial, of an immunotherapy drug. The medication seems to be working, and as Michael said, “the scientific road may have risen to meet me in the nick of time.”

Recorded live on October 23, 2019 at the BIF2019: Wellbeing Summit

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020 Michael Hawley passed away from colon cancer. He leaves behind his wife Nina and their son Tycho.


For the last 15 years, Michael Hawley has curated the Entertainment Gathering, or EG,  a creative conference dedicated to new ideas.

Photo courtesy of:  hahatango