A Fight For Our Father And 9-11 First Responders:
President George W. Bush once said, “One of the worst days in American History saw some of the bravest acts in American History”. Our father, a 9-11 FDNY first responder, stood on the front line of the September 11th terrorist attacks and selfishly fought to serve and protect.
Years following the tragic events, our father was diagnosed with Cardiac and Pulmonary Sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that has compromised his heart and lungs. Our family was informed that this diagnosis was linked to the events of 9-11 and was beginning to surface inside the bodies of multiple first responders. For the past several years, our father has teamed up with the FDNY World Trade Center Health program to help treat and control the growth of his sarcoidosis.
As the COVID-19 pandemic instilled a sense of fear into 7.8 billion people around the world, our family geared up to stand on the personal front line of our father. Scared of the unknown, our family took extreme precautions to prevent this horrific disease from finding its way into our father’s already weak lungs.
At the start of the COVID-19 quarantine, our father's health took a quick and unexpected turn. Concerned as to what was going on, our family waited patiently for answers. After several weeks of telehealth appointments, medical procedures and a few hospital admissions, our father became a patient at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in order to begin his battle against Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma. Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma is defined as the most advanced stage of melanoma. The doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering have all the reasons to believe that our father's diagnosis is directly linked to the terrorist attacks in September of 2001 . The melanoma inside our father has rapidly spread throughout his body, reaching several organs including his lungs, liver, bones and spine. Within the next few weeks, our father will become a part of Sloan Kettering’s Immunotherapy Clinical Trials, in an effort to treat this advanced disease. Immunotherapy is a treatment modality used to enhance the body's ability to recognize and stop the progression of melanoma. Due to his underlying sarcoidosis, our family is hoping his body will be able to tolerate the immunotherapy, as it could potentially worsen the symptoms of sarcoidosis.
This year, our family is teaming up with Cycle for Survival on behalf of my father and all first responders that have been fighting their battle against cancers linked to the tragic events of September 11th. All of the money raised will go directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering and their continued effort to treat/cure advanced cancers. Join our family's fight for our father and all of the 9-11 first responders.
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