Dream of becoming a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ contestant comes true for Richmond breast cancer survivor

8News Digital Exclusive

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Michelle Futrell, a nurse coordinator for the lung cancer screening program at VCU Massey Cancer Center, was recently given the chance to live her dream of being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.

However, Futrell’s 2019 started off terrifyingly as she was diagnosed with stage two hormone-positive HER2 negative breast cancer.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a year,” Futrell said. “When you hear the word ‘cancer’ your mortality is kind of thrown in your face. Positive for cancer is still tough.”

Michelle and her husband, John Futrell

She said although this year has been difficult, she is grateful her family and friends were there for her through every step of the process. After her last radiation treatment on November 22nd, 2019, she was officially cancer-free.

After her family persisted on her applying to be on Wheel of Fortune, she finally gave in and sent her audition tape to the studio.

“I was bald from chemo and they wanted me to come audition,” Futrell said.

She was told she would receive a letter roughly two weeks after her audition in Richmond for whether or not she would be on the program. After a nervy three weeks, she received her letter the day after her final chemo.

She flew to L.A. to record the episode and was starstruck by hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Futrell said after her rehearsals and exploring a little bit of Los Angeles, it was time to live in the moment and be on her favorite TV show.

“To start the year last year the way that I did; getting diagnosed with cancer and going through chemo. To have it end this way was pretty amazing.”

Michelle Futrell

She wasn’t allowed to reveal how well she did on the episode, but you can watch for yourself Monday, January 20th, at 7pm.

“I told my husband the reason they called me and put me on the show was that I showed up bald during my audition,” Futrell said.

Futrell ‘living in the moment’ outside of Sony Pictures Studios

CLICK HERE for more digital exclusives. Wheel of Fortune video clips are courtesy of Califon Productions, Inc.

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