41 year old MOH recipient faces new foe: cancer

Shurer is now fighting on different terrain than the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan, and against a different enemy than the battle-hardened insurgents of that remote region.

Fifteen months after he stood at the White House to receive the nation’s highest combat honor, he’s squaring off in an all-consuming battle against life-threatening lung cancer that his doctors rate at stage 4, meaning it has metastasized or spread to other organs.

“It’s everywhere,” Shurer, 41, said in a lengthy Jan. 22 interview at the coffee shop.

More than once, Shurer said he was prepared to comment on everything about the stage 4 cancer except his prognosis. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society point to five-year survival rates of less than 20%, although those numbers come with the caution that they may not reflect recent advances in treatment.