The reason for this fundraiser has to do with Mikeâ€™s battle with cancer. If you have the means, please make a contribution to this page.
UPDATE UPDATE - Ok, the goal is now up to $7500. This is crazy, way beyond what I would have ever expected. Lets keep it going people!!
UPDATE - We've raised the goal to $5000, lets keep this thing going strong!!
This fundraiser is in honor of and will directly benefit my good friends Mike and Christina Conigliaro. I was fortunate enough to meet Mike and Christina at Siena College in Loudonville, NY and they are two of the warmest, nicest people that anyone could ever have the pleasure of being associated with. They started dating towards the end of College and were married this past October in Albany. The wedding was awesome. I don’t remember all of it, but I know that I was a.) in attendance and b.) ripped my pants, so it must have been good.
The reason for this fundraiser has to do with Mike’s battle with cancer. In July 2008 Mike was diagnosed with nonseminomatous germ cell cancer after finding a lesion on his right testes. Following an immediate inguinal orchiectomy to remove his right testes, it was determined that lymphovascular invasion was also present and the cancer was marked as being Stage II. Because it had spread to some of his lymph nodes, Mike underwent four cycles of outpatient chemotherapy known as EP. After the four cycles, he was labeled as being in remission and went to monthly tests to monitor his status.
Two weeks after Mike and Christina’s marriage in October 2009 (and almost a year to the date of being in remission), Mike’s tests began to fluctuate and his doctors became concerned about his elevated AFP and HCG markers. After further testing, it was concluded that his cancer had come back, and a CT scan revealed a small mass in a lower back lymph node. After speaking with his oncologist, Mike’s treatment was transferred to the renowned Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital where they could better evaluate his new diagnosis.
The surgeon Mike met with at Sloan-Kettering Memorial agreed with his oncologist's original assessment that chemotherapy and RPLND surgery were necessary. He underwent four additional chemotherapy cycles. These cycles follow the regiment called TIP. Because TIP is a far more intensive and aggressive type of chemotherapy, these cycles were administered in-patient for days, and sometimes weeks at a time. The chemotherapy also caused Mike to undergo four different blood transfusions and a long-term hospital stay.
Mike’s current status is a positive and optimistic one. Although he is scheduled to undergo RPLND surgery on April 14, 2010, (at Sloan Kettering Memorial), both his oncologist and surgeon are confident of how well he has progressed to date and foresee the surgery to be a success as well.
Throughout this entire ordeal Mike and Christina have both remained upbeat and optimistic, never wanting or asking anything of anyone in their inner circle. Mike does not feel sorry for himself and keeps a brave face no matter the occasion, whether he is feeling great that day or not. He has never complained about the fact the he and Christina were forced to postpone their honeymoon following his latest diagnosis and they never gripe about the medical bills that have piled up after weeks of in-patient care. If anyone deserves a helping hand, it is these two.
I will be running the Lake Placid Marathon in Lake Placid, NY on June 13th 2010 in support of Mike and Christina. My very soon to be brother-in-law and City of Troy firefighter Pat Shaw will be running with me, as well as a few other firefighters from the City. Our goal is to raise as much money for Mike and Christina before June 13th as possible. If you have the means, please make a contribution to this page. ALL monies raised will go directly to Mike and Christina (as such, this is a NON tax deductible gift). Also, if you can repost the donation link to your facebook and twitter pages that would be much appreciated as well.
I know a lot of you personally that will be visiting this page, and I know what kind of hearts each of you possess. Any and all donations will be accepted, no matter the amount. A simple $5 to $10 donation will go a long way, I promise you that.
Thank you so much for your caring and generosity.