“I have always been in great physical shape but in 2002, after a period of feeling unwell, I made the decision to see a doctor – little did I know this would be my first of many appointments. My world shook as I heard the words “you have acute myeloid leukemia.” After I went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for a second opinion, they confirmed the diagnosis and I immediately started the first of six chemotherapy treatments over the course of nine months.
After a mentally and physically trying nine months, I was given the incredible news that my cancer was put into remission – the news I hoped to hear. Having been an avid athlete in various sports, including basketball, I worked hard to get myself back to my previous athletic shape. Slowly but surely, I began to do the things I love and feel like myself again.
As some of you may recall, August 14th, 2003 was a very humid, 88 degree day -- and the day of the NYC blackout. New York City was shut down, and I needed to get home from my office on 37th street all the way to the George Washington Bridge Port Authority Bus Terminal located at 178th Street and Broadway. I had not done any major physical activity since my final chemo treatment months prior, and getting home felt like an impossible feat. My good friend and Modell’s coworker at the time, Matt Root, promised to help get me there. He pushed and motivated me all the way uptown, and we both got home to our families.
Now, 16 years later, Matt and I complete this same walk annually to celebrate my triumph over all that I had endured with my cancer diagnosis, to remember the day that Matt supported me when I needed a friend most, and to honor those battling cancers by raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society."