On September 28, 2019, my birthday, my Dad (age 66) was diagnosed with a stage 4 Glioblastoma Brain Tumor. A devastating diagnosis as this type of tumor is aggressive and incurable, and by the time one exhibits any symptoms it’s far too late. For my Dad, it started in August 2019 when he lost his sense of taste. In September 2019, my Dad had his first grand mal seizure which led to his diagnosis. In October 2019, my Dad underwent a very successful tumor resection when the odds were stacked against him. In November 2019, my Dad celebrated his 67th birthday while persevering through chemo and radiation to keep the tumor’s growth at bay. In December 2019, he completed chemo and radiation only to experience another grand mal seizure on Christmas day. It was this point forward that this tumor would test my Dad’s physical strength as he went from rehab to rehab determined to regain his independence. In January 2020, my Dad became a patient of Dana Farber and began wearing Novocure’s Optune Cap (www.optune.com). We were hopeful, and reassured, as every MRI showed that the resected part of this aggressive tumor had not grown back. It was a promising outlook despite his struggle to fight fatigue, with determination.
No matter where my Dad was, he was our #1 priority, just like we were always his #1 priority. We spent every day with him, ensured he was comfortable and advocated for him. In March 2020, COVID-19 became an inevitable threat. In April 2020, during his stay in rehab, my Dad contracted COVID-19.
Our hearts were broken on May 16, 2020 when we lost my Dad to Cancer due to complications from COVID-19. Cancer and COVID-19 robbed my Dad of being part of so many more memories my family needs to make. It robbed my Dad of being able to get to know his first grandson, who was born exactly one week before he passed away. Not a day goes by when we don't think of my Dad. We miss him tremendously and it has become my family’s mission to keep his memory alive every day…. every…. single…. day.
Because of my love and devotion for my Dad, John Anciello, I am making a pledge to participate in the 2020 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Virtual Walk. Every step, every mile, I will be honoring my Dad, all of my extended family and friends who have fought this battle, and all of our friends and family who fought along side my Dad since September.
My fundraiser will help Dana Farber find a cure that will give cancer patients fighting Gliomas and Glioblastomas the quality of life they deserve, and the opportunity to be part of so many more memories they were meant to be a part of.
Thank you for reading my Dad’s story, and supporting my participation in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Every donation will make a meaningful impact in cancer research. Every donation is one step closer to our world becoming a little more colorful again.
Thank you for your support,