The Autobiography Project

Your Autobiographies

Thomas McCann's Autobiography (submitted 4/19/06)

A defining moment in my life came on a cold February morning in 1994. I was 25, in my prime, surrounded by loving people. I woke up with a sour stomach. At work, it became unbearable. I rushed to the emergency room. For five days, I languished there, undiagnosed. Three weeks later an oncologist pricked my finger, placed a droplet of blood on a slide, and said, "Son, you have leukemia." The next thing I know, the doctor was on top of me with an eight-inch needle extracting bone marrow from my sternum. My world turned upside down. Over 12 years, I underwent a bone marrow transplant, massive chemotherapy, radiation, and removal of pieces of my knuckle, testicle and tibia. Doctors Brodsky, Styler, and Crilley kept me alive.

In traditional Philadelphia spirit, I kept the faith. During this difficult time, I learned to take nothing for granted and wrung the most out of life. I visited Barcelona, golfed at St. Andrews, and visited the Vatican. Without my family's help (Mom, Dad, Brian, Pat and Kate) and my guardian angel Lori, I would never made it against overwhelming odds. I was never allowed to give up. Growing up in Southwest Philly, it was not our style. Philly kids are tough. They have to be, in order to endure the heartache with our sports teams.

Now for the piece de resistance, because every story should have a happy ending. Lori and I are expecting our first child! Parenthood has renewed our energy, and we are grateful for the Lord's blessings. Maybe we can finally join the ranks of normalcy. Somehow I doubt it. But going forward, Lori, the new baby, and I (and our Vizsla, Denim) have a history to reflect upon, enabling us to keep perspective and enjoy life.

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