2020 has brought many changes for my family, following what was a challenging 2019. In 2019 my family was hit hard with the cancer card; my dad found out he had skin cancer and a cancerous mass on his kidney and my wife was diagnosed with ocular melanoma.
Cassie and I attended a SAA event hours after she found out she had ocular melanoma. Last fall she started a clinical trial to help reduce/ stop the tumor growth. She responded well with the trial laser treatment. She will continue to be monitored closely. We were fortunate to get the diagnosis early and her oncologist feels as though her tumor is stable.
In 2019 my dad had a successful Moh’s procedure and then what we felt was a successful removal of a tumor from his kidney. Even though the tumor was an aggressive form of renal cancer, they were confident that they had been able to get all the cancer cells. Unfortunately during his regular monitoring in March, his scans came back concerning.
As the island and state shut down and went into quarantine, my dad traveled up to MGH for a biopsy. The results of the biopsy came back with the most daunting news; Stage 4 renal cancer that has spread. We know it has metastasized to the bone in the sacrum and they are concerned with some other spots in his chest.
The diagnosis was a blow; we had been confident that the surgery had been successful and didn’t expect this news. I quickly reached out to my SAA family for help because we needed to start treatment. Within 48 hours from the diagnosis, my dad had his medication on the way and was scheduled to start his treatment HERE on Nantucket. With so much uncertainty due to COVID-19, it was a relief to know he could receive uninterrupted treatment at the hospital and not have to worry about traveling. His oncologists are taking an aggressive treatment approach with two different medications. It’s not easy, but the comforting thing is knowing he can receive treatment and then be home resting 10 minutes after completion.
Due to COVID-19, the annual SAA event has been cancelled. This year's fundraising is even more important. I am part of the 4-mile group that is hopeful to be able to complete our swim later in the summer. In the meantime I am completing the SAA Coast-to-Coast Challenge by logging my miles of swimming as well as running. The Coast-to-Coast Challenge also takes donated money into account, logging “miles” for money. We are competing against all of the other SAA events hosted around the country.
While the past two years have been rough on our family in the world of cancer, everything we have gone through has helped us stay aware of what is important in life; making sure we make the most of family and cherishing the time we have.
Last year I was blown away by your generous support and raised just over $10,000! That money stays local and directly helps our local families with their cancer fight. My goal this year is to raise $7,000. Again this money stays local and is even more important than ever with more local residents and families seeing cancer treatment on Nantucket due to Covid 19. I ask you to support my 4 mile swim. I swim for my family. My dad. My wife.
In our lifetime, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. I joined the SAA community so that, together, I can change that. I am challenging myself by swimming in the Nantucket Island Swim and raising as much money to fight cancer on Nantucket.
With every dollar raised from our Swim, we are changing the game of cancer care on Nantucket and we should all be proud of that. Proceeds directly support the Nantucket Cottage Hospital (NCH) and the Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket (PASCON) oncology efforts to fund vital services for local and visiting cancer patients, minimizing their need to travel for appointments, testing and treatment. Our support allows NCH oncology programs to keep more Nantucket residents on-island for their cancer care, providing them a compassionate and caring environment. We help bring world-class oncologists to the island, allowing our patients to receive treatments at home. Through PASCON, our patients and families receive important physical, emotional and spiritual care free of charge.
Please support me by sponsoring my swim and making a gift. The money you give will go towards cancer care on Nantucket. Thank you for your generosity and may it lead to a cancer-free world!
You can make a credit card donation by clicking on "DONATE" or send a check to Swim Across America - Nantucket, PO Box 3271, Nantucket, MA 02584
Check should be made out to Swim Across America but please include a note mentioning my name as the swimmer you are supporting!