Back when I was in elementary school, my Uncle Ted was diagnosed with a genetic cancer in his spine. He experienced pain in his lower back every time he would sit, which was a sign that something was wrong.
After he was diagnosed, he went to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City for a major surgery. He had a main back bone removed, along with a few vertebrae and the cancerous tumor. He was told that he would never be able to run again. Running is a major part of his life. My Uncle Ted is a marathon runner, and it was very difficult to hear such news.
However, he proved the doctors wrong. With his strength and determination, he was back on the running course in no time. My Uncle Ted is definitely an inspiration for myself and a lot of people who are told that they can’t do something because of a certain condition. He has proved that anything is possible when you put your mind to it, and that is something I will always admire him for.
Uncle Ted has a great sense of humor, a caring heart, and a strong will to beat the odds. I’m very luck to call him my uncle and to have him in my life. Keep being a Trooper Uncle Ted! I love you!
In November of 2014 at the age of 9, my niece Julianna was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
After complaining of stomach pain and developing a yellow hue to her skin, Jules went in for her first scan. The doctors found tumors on all of her organs.
Although her prognosis was good, she had the fight of her life ahead of her.
Jules lost her hair, she spent weeks in the hospital, she missed school and soccer and dance. She could only see her friends if they were healthy, washed their hands and if she was wearing a mask.
But she always smiled.
When diagnosed, her response was "now I can have my own team at Relay" and we have walked for her at Relay for Life of Yorktown for the last three years. I Relay for Julianna, the survivor.
This is Robert, a 30 year veteran Police Officer, dedicated husband, father, grandfather, amazing brother, cousin, loyal friend to many and my wonderful uncle.
He was a healthy active man who worked harder than most. He looked forward to spending his retirement years with his family & watching his grandsons grow.
This August, at the age of 56 years young, just 8 months after finally retiring, he lost his fight with Pancreatic Cancer. He battled through months of treatments never giving up hope up to the very end.
His life was cut very short, we watched him deteriorate day to day and we are angry about it. He deserved the gift of life and growing old especially since he gave so much to others through his service as a respected officer of 30 years and by always giving so much to his family by being an amazing, caring man we could all always count on.
His passing has left us with deep pain and heartbroken. It has showed us how short life can be. We forever cherish all the days we had with him and now cherish all the beautiful memories even more.
We love you & we'll miss you forever Uncle Rob!
In late December of 2016, my family and I were told the news that my mom had Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 1A Breast Cancer. Her diagnosis was not easy to accept, and it came out of left field.
What we thought was a benign cyst turned out to be our worst nightmare.
The doctors told us that they found the cancer early, which we were so fortunate about, but that she would need a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation. I thought to myself, how can this be possible? My mom, my best friend, my sidekick, how can she be sick? I couldn’t enjoy the holidays, I felt numb and extremely depressed. I was graduating with my Associate’s Degree from Westchester Community College, and it was supposed to be an exciting time, yet I felt broken inside. All that kept running through my head was the horrid word, “cancer.”
I spent every day up until the time of her surgery (and even after her surgery) worrying and wondering if she would be OK. I worried at the hospital during her surgery, and I worried through the many weeks of her radiation treatment. I still worry about her, but I find comfort in knowing that she is in remission.
My mom is truly the kindest and most loving person. She always takes the best care of me and my family. She is there to make us smile, and she is there when she we need a shoulder to cry on. I pray that she will continue to be cancer free, I love her too much to live this life without her.
Also, I want to thank the amazing Radiology Team at Hudson Valley Hospital and the surgery center at Northern Westchester Hospital for taking excellent care of my mom!
It was August 12, 1995 when I got a call from my brother telling me he and my sister in law were about to be parents again. A couple hours later I got the news that a beautiful baby girl has joined our family. Sarah Elizabeth Poulin had finally arrived. I could not be more excited to see her.
I finally got to meet her the next day. As I expected she was in fact beautiful and perfect. It was great to spend time with her and her big sister. Doing all the things an uncle gets to do. Play, hug and just enjoy.
Well, three months later I get a call from my mom saying that Sarah went to her 3 month checkup with the Dr. They found a lump on the back of her head and they believe she may have leukemia. The next day the results came in. The answer is YES on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Needless to say that news hit my whole family very hard. What followed were months of chemotherapy and radiation. Then thanks to an amazing guy whom we never met, she got her bone marrow transplant.
It was during this time I was going through my own health issues and was not allowed to visit as much as I wanted to. Eventually she started to do very well. We all were starting to feel good that maybe she would come through this. In August My brother and sister in law had a huge 2nd birthday party for her. Over 80 people showed up. She was starting to not feel so good at this point.
We learned few days later that the leukemia had returned. There was a lot of fear that this is not going to turn out well. She started back on chemotherapy treatments to prepare her for a second bone marrow transplant. Then on November 10th I got the call I was expecting while at me job. She had died.
It is unnatural to go to a wake and funeral of a 2 year old. What were we to do? How do we help my brother, sister in law and Sarah’s big sister Mary. I invited them to come and be a part of their first Relay For Life events. Come and see what its like. Well that was helpful to them. See so many people who don’t know you but supports you. It is my belief that Relay is all that is great about the human spirit. It has been my mission to keep Sarah’s memory alive. Which I have done. If anyone who knows me does not know about Saarah then you probably don’t know me well.
The decision to share my story was easy.
I'm happy to open up this blog! I'll be writing personal posts & reflections. I'll also be sharing stories from those of you interested on being a guest blogger. Email us if you're interested!