In 1998, I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at the age of 15. I would later turn 16 in the hospital not knowing if I would live to see my 17th birthday.
Being the son of a smoker (who through Gods grace has now quit), my initial thought was that secondhand smoke had something to do with my diagnosis. The doctors could never pinpoint the exact cause of my cancer but would later tell me it was probably acquired in utero and it just happened to lodge itself in my lungs. Whatever the case may be, I had cancer and needed to fight to see another birthday.
Through the power of prayer, family and medicine I was successfully treated with 4 rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Before cancer became a turning point in my young life, I was just like any other teenager. I played sports, had friends and excelled in academics. Although I was administered an annual physical to play sports in school, it was never discovered that I had a malignant cancer slowly taking over my body.
Although I missed over a half a year of my junior (11th grade) high school year, I was able to graduate on time. I went on to graduate from college where I studied Psychology and minored in Spanish. I would even live as a missionary through my church for a year. I was soaking up as much as I could with this new lease on life.
As any cancer survivor would tell you, in the back of your mind, you initially feel you’re living on borrowed time. Unsure of what the future has for you. Once things settled down though, I started to reflect on my life and wanted to share it with someone and build a family of my own.
I married my wife Yolanda in July 2010 and we welcomed our son Abraham in 2013. This coming May 2015, we're expecting a little girl which we will be naming Arianna.
Abraham and his wife Yolanda are from the Bronx, NY. Abraham graduated from Iona College in 2004, with a degree in Psychology and currently works for the Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley (www.hudson.wish.org).
Yolanda graduated from Lehman College with a degree in Speech Pathology and currently works for the Department of Education. In 2013, she also attained a MA in teaching English to speakers of other languages – TESOL.
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