stage 4 grey zone lymphoma (GZL)
Twelve years ago, I found out I had stage 4 grey zone lymphoma (GZL), a hybrid lymphoma that only about 10 people have had and only about three people have survived. Getting this news as a 28-year-old man just getting started in life was like having the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I didn’t even know how to deal with it. Luckily, I found a lymphoma specialist, Dr. Andre Goy of Memorial Sloan Kettering, who was bringing his expertise to Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey. I feel like there was some divine intervention here. He treated me for about nine months in the hospital with all types of chemo, and I was able to pull through despite constant reminders that this is not something that people survive. I had to keep a positive attitude and my comedic sense intact as I pushed through and survived.
I have participated in the Light The Night (LTN) walks which gave me perspective. The money donated helped find and fund the medication used to treat me. The people showed love and support because somewhere patients are still fighting, families of patients who didn't win the battle still showed their support, and survivors like me give people hope that there is a possibility that there is light on the other end of the tunnel. This is my story, and I hope this inspires someone to keep fighting, keep donating, and keep smiling. Life isn't done with you yet. Live, laugh, and love.