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Texas man battling two forms of cancer while raising awareness about disease, mental health

Dombek said he considers himself unbreakable. It's been his motto since he was diagnosed with leukemia and multiple myeloma in 2015.

AUSTIN, Texas — Steve Dombek's journey with cancer has led him to give back to the community and raise awareness about mental health for patients. 

Dombek said he considers himself unbreakable. It's been his motto since he was diagnosed with two forms of cancer, leukemia and multiple myeloma in 2015.

"Throughout this journey, I've had a bunch of ups and downs. It's been like a roller coaster," Dombek said.

Every day, he has to take 37 medications and undergoes chemotherapy once a month. Now, he also goes to therapy for his mental health on a regular basis.

Dombek said he's relentlessly optimistic, but he struggled with his mental health.

"Something with this much weight, you have to be able to discuss it when you go through cancer. You're not the person you were," Dombek said. 

Through his doctor at Texas Oncology, Dombek was introduced to the Flatwater Foundation. It's a program that provides mental health therapy to individuals and families coping with a cancer diagnosis.

Dombek said he believes therapy is equally as important as his treatments and it's helped in his relationship with his daughter, Cora.

"When you have to explain that your dad is going to lose all his hair, he's going to feel sick and he's not going to be able to get out of bed, I mean, that's where it helped out a ton," Dombek said. 

He was moved by the Flatwater Foundation's mission to provide mental health therapy in the wake of cancer. So he began to take part in the organization's paddle boarding event known as Dam That Cancer

"This past Monday, the 12th, we paddled 21 miles. Team Unbreakable raised $135,000," Dombek said. 

Dombek said he hopes to beat his cancer one day, spend more time with his daughter and continue to raise awareness about cancer screenings and mental health.

Now he's working to sell clothing items with the word "unbreakable" as well as other meaningful messages. The proceeds will go to the Flatwater Foundation so others can get potentially life-changing mental health resources. 

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