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This fundraiser ended on 03/28/13

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The Bracciale Family are uniting to raise money to help Michael battle against stage 4 Colon Cancer. Please show your support in anyway!

A selfless man is a simple phrase that describes Michael J. Bracciale (age 59). A man who struggled throughout his life, but no matter what always put his family and friends first. Michael is a man who fought for his country. He joined the Navy at age 17 after finding out that one of his good friends, Charles Glenn had passed. This was Michael's motivation; he wanted to honor his beloved friend and also fight for his nation. He lived everyday not knowing what the next day would bring, but he did it. Michael had terrrors when he came home from the war, and nothing was ever the same for him.

Michael went through many jobs after the war. He worked in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, The Mint, as a Septa driver, and then finally settled with the Philadelphia Water Department. While working for the water department for 20 years he got hurt on the job and became disabled due to hurting his back and getting many herniated discs. This was not the only thing, Michael was diagnosed with PTSD from the Vietnam War. Although theses were some downfalls, Michael became a stay at home father and enjoyed spending time with his daughter Nicole and wife Karen. Michael dealt with much pain physically and mentally, but was always a big family man. Michael took his daughter to school everyday, took care of his dog, his garden, and did the chores around the house; however, he always had to watch his back (there were good and bad days).

After finding the right support and medicine that helped him Michael was able to deal with his problems and tried to enjoy life to the fullest. He supported his wife and daughter in everything; he especially was proud that his daughter graduated from Julia R. Masterman (the number 1 school in PA) and was going into Nursing school at Holy Family University.

All the good changed one day when Nicole came home from class one day and noticed her father wasn't right. She asked what had been wrong and he said his stomach was unbearable again (this had been going on and off for 5 months). Michael ended up going into the ER where they found he had C. Difficle and they also found masses on his lungs (from the Cat Scan). The did a biopsy on the lung and when the results came back they stated Michael had stage 4 colon cancer. What a life changing day that was, he went in for a bellyache and came out with cancer. His first thought was "NO, I must see my daughter graduate college, I don't want her to worry." Michael was sent home 5 days later and had planned to see the oncologist a week later. However, Michael lost his ability to walk, had unbearable headaches,and his vision became blurred. Michael stated he wanted to go back into the hospital because he knew something wasn't right. When the Dr. ran the tests and did the Cat Scans, they found Michael had a mass on his brain which was the reason he had the symptoms he did.

In a matter of 3 weeks a wonderful family mans life did a complete 360. It is now November 28, 2 months after the diagnosis and Michael had radiation of the brain and is currently going through Chemotherapy. He is a very religious man who is apart of St. Bartholomew's Parish and is putting his faith in God. He believes he can fight this, and states everyday "I WILL NOT GIVE UP" His wife Karen took family leave from her part time job with the school district, but they denied it. Karen just used up all her sick days and now has no income coming in. The family is solely depending on Michael's disability check, and live pay check to pay check. Unfortunately, medical bills are pilling up and it is adding more stress to the family at this time.

Any contribution to help Michael and his family at this time would be greatly appreciated. This man who did so much for others finally needs to see how much he truly is loved and cared for. "He is my hero, and he will fight this" -Nicole Bracciale. God Bless and Thank You.

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