I am uniting with others to make a difference in the fight against brain tumors. I am VERY passionate about this cause, so I’m taking action and need your help. I ask that if I have ever supported your run, walk, cycle, marathon, or fundraiser to PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING ME AND TEAM HOLLANDER'S EFFORTS in the Race for Hope 2018 in memory of my beloved father, David Hollander. EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS in the fight against brain cancer! The National Brain Tumor Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) are making strides for a cure - but more needs to be done. Please join in my effort!
I walk for my Dad. I walk for his bravery, and I walk in his memory. I also walk for the thousands like him suffering courageously with this horrific disease. I walk for amazing organizations like ACCELERATE BRAIN CANCER CURE (ABC2) whose incredible CEO helped me to gain access to my Dad's targeted medication when insurance denied us for being "off label". As we know, there is no cure. As a rare cancer, there also isn't enough money, research and new treatments. There isn't enough access to amazing care for all who are afflicted, and there isn't enough access to affordable treatments, clinical trials and cutting edge precision medicine. But there is hope, and in numbers there is strength. On May 6th, 2018 I will walk with TEAM HOLLANDER and thousands of others whose lives have been impacted by this disease.
This is my Dad's story...
On the evening of October 11, 2013 our family was faced with the hardest of trials within any family dynamic. An illness that literally blew us away and came out of virtually nowhere. Emergency surgery. Brain cancer. One of the worst and most aggressive kinds of cancer in the world, GLIOBLASTOMA. How could it be? The odds of survival were staggering and grim, and stacked against us. So much so, that we were told by the doctors not to research or read anything online. Our family, despite this blow, believed that we would somehow overcome this. The word "prognosis" never even once entered into our vocabulary throughout all of the medical appointments and conversations. Our doctors and surgeons somehow knew that word just simply didn't apply to us.
Through it all my Dad was never afraid. While our family was terrified on a daily basis he was calm and optimistic. Four brain surgeries. Rehab. He vowed to always fight, for himself and for us. And fight he did, through clinical trials and experimental treatments, genetic testing and multiple trips to the ER and ICU. Always onward. He pushed forward and we went along on the journey with him. He never complained about his illness, or the things that he was losing. He greeted each day with gratitude and set the pace and example for all of us over these past 3 years.
My Dad supported a number of charities that were important to him. Children. Animals. Veterans. Feeding hungry people in NYC and taking care of our homeless. With every piece of good news we got from the doctors and scans, we would choose a charity and donate to give back for our good fortune. Yet his finest charitable work came after surgery #3 in July of 2015 when he was given the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial that would mean he would be the very first in the country to have focused re-irradiation to activate a targeted drug being administered directly to his brain. His admission to the trial meant that he would be a phase 1 patient, or the one to test both the drug and procedure’s safety. Phase 1 trials are a great unknown and his surgeon explained that if he elected to move forward that it meant he would be closing the trial. If the treatment was deemed safe it would give them the ability to file the new protocol with the FDA and open the trial to others as a phase 2 to measure effectiveness. David saw this as an incredible opportunity to not only potentially be treated, but to personally contribute to forwarding the science and give back and help others with this illness. He was so incredibly proud to do it. Two days before he passed, we found out that the surgical team had coined the "Hollander Protocol”, which was not only approved by the FDA, but opened not one but TWO brand new Phase 2 trials. While we may never know how many people he has helped, we can only hope that it will be many. He considered this to be one of his life's greatest achievements and part of his purpose. He is my hero.
That is the greatest testament to who my Dad truly was. If there's a word to describe and define David Hollander, it's “GRACE”. An amazing husband and father. A friend to all. The kindest man. A good guy. Like a brother. A second father. Others have said he was beyond emotionally intelligent. The best patient. Always honorable. Brilliantly hilarious. Wickedly hysterical. Able to be empathetic to anyone and everyone. Generous with his love. Always caring about others before himself. Always able to find the funny side of everything and anything. Even with all he had going on, he always cared to ask about how you were doing before he allowed it to be asked of himself. Courageous and kind, strong and honorable. Loving, funny and delicious. My Dad passed away peacefully on August 24, 2016 at home with my Mom & I beside him at his side. He leaves an indelible mark on so many who will never forget him. He had the grace, strength, courage and heart of 1,000 or more men. There is a hole that can never be filled, but there is a legacy that can be honored.