Lyle’s Story

Climb 4 Kidney Cancer Team scales the highest point in the continental United States for Lyle Pratt-Click for Photos

whose life was changed by Kidney Cancer

Mt. Whitney 14,500 feet May 2016, photo by Donny Martin


Lyle doing one of the things he loves, riding his bike.

Meet Lyle Pratt.  Read how his life suddenly changed at the age of 56!

“At age 56, life was great! Hiking, biking, kayaking, traveling with my grandkids and looking at an early retirement at age 59.  I had been unusually tired and having awful headaches so my doctor and I were working to find out why.  We did some tests and I’ll never forget my doctor calling me at my office at 7:00AM to come to her clinic.”

“You have kidney cancer.”

“That came out of nowhere.  I was totally stunned.  The day was July 1st, 2004 and ironically instead of thinking about the end of life and all the serious things that the word ‘cancer’ instills, I kept thinking this can’t be, I’m supposed to host 40 of my relatives at our lake cabin for a 4th of July gathering in 3 days.”

“Fast forward a month and I am having a nephrectomy.  A scan three weeks later showed dozens of metastases (evidence that the cancer has spread away from the kidney to other parts) in my lungs, vena cava and a spot on my liver. My oncologist at the time enrolled me in a phase three clinical trial (a research study of an experimental drug) of a combination of interferon and a new drug being tested for renal cell cancer (RCC), bevacizumab (avastin). Within three months, all the metastases were gone except one, which would eventually disappear! I knew I was lucky because more than 90% of patients with metastatic kidney cancer die within 5 years.”

“I was basically cancer free until September 2011 when a small tumor appeared on my remaining kidney. Dr. Kyle Anderson at the University of Minnesota did a cryoablation (where the kidney tumor is frozen) which eliminated that issue. Then in June of 2012, several lung metastases appeared in my lungs. It was then that I did HD IL-2 at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center under Dr. Dudek.  This is a very challenging therapy to get through and it makes you feel horribly sick.  I was very fortunate to be a complete responder. I have been cancer free for the past 44 months!

Lyle kayak small
Lyle Pratt despite a 12 year battle with metastatic kidney cancer still finding time to do what he loves

“What I see as a very great need is a resource for newly diagnosed kidney cancer patients where they can find what treatment options are available to them and where the urologists and oncologists are that specialize in kidney cancer.  I also think it is important that patients find where they can talk with other kidney cancer patients for support.”

“I also would encourage kidney cancer patients to look into clinical trials as an option. This gives them a chance to try cutting edge therapies years before they become FDA approved. Listing of these trials can be found on websites such as the NIH or Kidney Cancer Association.”

“Research and awareness are also very important. One example is being done right here at the University of Minnesota. It is the annual Climb for Kidney Cancer held at TCF Stadium. It is a fun event for patients and their families and friends.  I would encourage you to participate.”

Lyle and his family Breaking the Bank for Kidney Cancer at the University of Minnesota

The Climb 4 Kidney Cancer team just climbed Mt. Whitney to celebrate with Lyle as he continues fight through surgeries, and multiple rounds of chemotherapy to keep the Kidney Cancer at bay and to enjoy life.


Mountain Climb Solo_edited-1conquer together text_edited-1