In December of 2022, New Dawn Coffee Founder was diagnosed with T2 Carcinoma ex Pleomorphic Adenoma. Resulting in a surgery to remove a saliva gland in November 2022 with a cancer diagnosis by December 12, 2022. Our Founder underwent 33 treatments of radiation over 3 months, which resulted in pushing harder to develop a coffee company, New Dawn Coffee Company LLC which directly supports combat Veterans with cancer through donations to 501c3 nonprofits focusing on cancer education, support and financial assistance for cancer treatments.
Having to isolate from friends and family due to having a compromised immune system was difficult. However, while this was one of the most challenging times of his life, it was also filled with unconditional love, unimaginable support, and pockets of immense joy. He found continuing to provide virtual mental health counseling to combat Veterans in his full-time job through telehealth counseling was key in his journey providing purpose. He is grateful to have a community of friends, family, and coworkers who show up without question in all the important ways - never letting him feel alone.
In April of 2023, he was declared to have evidence of thyroid cancer resulting in another surgery to remove parts of the thyroid in May 2023. He is optimistic and grateful to continue to wake up each day, have plans with my family for the future along with contributing to those in need of mental health services as well as providing funds for those struggling with cancer.
In December 2023 he had a PET scan finding that his cancer is presently in remission. "I am proud of myself for advocating for all those months, and I would encourage everyone to always be your best advocate – you know your body better than any provider. Today, I still face residual trauma and effects of treatment as well as echoing symptoms from service in Iraq – anxiety, seasonal depression, difficulties with sleep, intrusive thoughts, dry mouth, changes in taste, pain from the first surgery site along with challenges of self-image – but I am grateful to continue to rise to the challenge. Continuing to work full time through this process, working part time for myself, and advocating for those with cancer from burn pit exposure from Iraq and Afghanistan- continuously saying “yes” to new adventures, plans of going to the gym, finding joy in each day, and spending as much time as possible with the people I love.
I am lucky to have had the ability to cope through healthy living/skills with being diagnosed with cancer, multiple surgeries and radiation along with having the resources to obtain high quality care. This is not the case for everyone, and that’s why I am proud to be a resource for others in their journey.
I’ve committed to raising funds through coffee sales through New Dawn Coffee Company LLC and am proud to support Combat Veterans impacted by cancer."
-Michael Heidtman, OIF Combat Veteran

Iraq 2004-2005