Fort Langley’s Colton Muench was an active athlete with a strong work ethic who competed in two very different sports.
He would spend six to eight hours a week at the Langley Rod and Gun Club, where he was a member, to practice target shooting, and then train twice a day, six days a week for kayaking, both on the water as well as cross-training.
His efforts paid off with five gold medals in sprint kayaking at the 2010 B.C. Summer Games held in the Township of Langley, and silver at the national championships.
At the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, competing in target shooting, Muench and Vancouver’s Dominic Chan narrowly missed taking home a bronze medal.
The B.C. pair placed fourth with 1,052 points, a mere four points away from reaching the podium.
Muench remained an active kayaker and fisherman, until he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in January of 2021.
His sister, Raven, described it as “a shocking diagnosis for someone so young, age 27, living an active non-smoking healthy lifestyle.”
Within weeks, a PET scan showed the cancer had metastasized to his hips, sternum, ribs and lymph nodes.
“The doctor gave him six months to live,” Raven recalled.
A year later, multiple aggressive treatments have extended his life, but have prevented Muench from working.
Now, Raven said the family is hoping a drug treatment not covered by B.C. medical or the cancer society could help, and have launched a GoFundMe campaign “Help Colton Muench Fight Lung Cancer,” to raise $60,000 toward the cost.
Trastuzumab-anns (Brand name Kanjinti) is a “biologic” drug that was approved for other types of cancer by the U.S. FDA in 2019, but has shown promise in treating lung cancers as well.
Organized by his mother-in-law, Birgitt Findler-Sanders, the campaign had, as of Monday, raised $24,000.
An update by Findler-Sanders said Colton underwent his first round of the new drug on Friday, Feb. 25.
“It was a busy day for him,” Findler-Sanders posted. “He spent four hours in Surrey receiving the new treatment then drove to Vancouver to receive his regular chemo treatment of three and a half hours.”
“We are truly hoping and praying this will help him,” Findler-Sanders said.
She added Colton and his wife Malena “are overwhelmed with the support from everyone and want to say thank you from the bottom of their hearts.”
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