John: I am with Terrie Magro, who is the founder of the Michael Magro Foundation. Terrie you have been nominated as a Model Citizen for all you do for charity and also for Long Island, congratulations.
Terrie: Thank you so much John, it’s an honor to be nominated and I’m very appreciative for this opportunity.
John: Can you tell us about Michael?
Terrie: Michael was my oldest son. He was born in 1990 and his brother Mark was 28 months later. So my two boys had a great relationship, they did everything together. At times they had some typical fighting, but they had a great life together.
In 2004, Mark was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was going through cancer treatment at the Cancer Center for Kids at NYU Winthrop Hospital. He was just about completing his chemotherapy treatment and ready to start radiation when Michael, as I dub it, out of the clear blue sky, started feeling weak and presented with what seemed like the flu. This was at the end of May, and by June 8th he was diagnosed with Leukemia. It was actually ALL, which is the acronym for the type of Leukemia he had. It was a T-cell, a very aggressive cell and his age was against him. He was about 13 ½ at that time, and Mark was 11 when he was initially diagnosed.
So Michael’s journey was very different from Marks. As difficult as Mark’s Journey was, through radiation and chemotherapy, Michael really had a very difficult time. His pulmonary system was really damaged through all of this, so Michael was actually diagnosed on June 8th of 2004, and he passed away on July 30th of 2004.
John: That’s a tragedy, I’m so sorry.
Terrie: It was a whirlwind to say the least. People thought I was losing my mind because I started to talk about Michael and cancer treatment, and they were telling me, no you mean Mark, and I said no, unfortunately I mean Michael.
Michael was a lot sicker than Mark, but their journeys were just horrific. Cancer treatments do a lot of good. There are so many survivors, and survival rates have gone up.