I was diagnosed my senior year at Amsterdam High School. I was a newly minted 18-year-old and the NYOH staff treated me like I was their own kid. It has always stuck with me. I still see staff members when I’m out running errands, who stop to see how I am doing.
Having NYOH in Amsterdam means a lot to the community. Being diagnosed or having a loved one with cancer is intimidating enough. But having to go to an unfamiliar city makes it all the more challenging. Having an office here in Amsterdam gives you a home-field advantage.
I talk about my diagnosis with others because Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a cancer that likes to target younger people. It’s a hard thing to deal with when you don’t yet have the perspective that comes with having been around the block once or twice. My message is simple: just trust the process they lay out for you at NYOH and know that when you get well there is nothing that you can’t do. Cancer has not stopped me from becoming a college graduate, travelling the world, being a police officer, running a marathon, or from becoming a father and husband. If I can do those things, they can too.