Michael and his little cousin Nico
Early this morning we lost an amazing young man. My cousin Michael was battling Leukemia for the 2nd time in his young life. Some of you may remember I did a fund raiser for him back in October to raise money for his treatments. In January he received a bone marrow transplant and spent a month in the hospital. He was able to go home, but was battling infections and was in and out of the hospital over the last month. He went back in Monday evening and passed away early this morning. He was only 20 years old. He and I had a deal that when he was better we would run a race together. While that is not physically possible now, I will always have him in my heart when I run.
He was a student at Rutgers University and managed a 4.0 GPA last semester while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. My half marathon next month is at Rutgers University. I had hoped to visit with him but unfortunately that is not possible now. But I know Michael will be running along with me in spirit and carrying me through the race.
I was reading through his facebook messages that his friends have been leaving for him. They talk about his great smile, how nice he was, what a great friend and how at ease he made people feel. He touched many lives and hopefully we can all carry his amazing spirit forward.
Photo by A. Palino