Today is My 8th Birthday!

Today is my 8th birthday! Eight years ago I received the stem cell transplant that saved my life, the cure for my cancer – Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I take this day each year to thank family, friends, fraternity brothers, work colleagues, and others who have provided support to me and my family over these past eight years. This time would not have been possible without the generosity of my donor Trent.

This past year was one of the most memorable of my life. I was able check a number of items off my bucket list. First, the trip to Egypt in December. This was such as amazing experience. Organized by my good friend Kamau and his wife Brandi, we travelled as a group of eleven (plus or Egyptologist Ahmed) and saw the most amazing sites. We stood at the feet of the Sphinx and in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Giza. We saw temples thousands of years old. We sailed down the Nile and flew over Luxor by hot air balloon. We heard Nubian musicians and even got to see Kamau dance!

I travelled with Jay and Eric to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Again, a trip I’ve always wanted to make that I feel blessed we were able to do. It looks really small from the outside, but you are quickly emersed in 100 years of football history. The busts are what people are most familiar with (and they are impressive), but seeing things like record-breaking balls and other memorabilia was very cool.

Our son Brandon was able to buy his first car, a Chevy Equinox. He even made a couple of solo trips back and forth to school in North Carolina. He was recognized with a scholarship from the Rainbow Push Coalition that helped to pay most of his tuition this semester.

Ava is also progressing toward adulthood. She has been accepted to all of her colleges of choice and has received significant scholarship dollars. We had the opportunity to visit different college campuses as she makes her final choice. As a culinary student, she participated in regional and statewide baking and culinary competitions, placing first in two of them!

Lisa and I and had a ball in Egypt, but we also did some fun things back at home. We saw a few concerts at Chene Park, including Kool & the Gang and D-Nice. We attended fundraisers, a few shows, and had some relaxing nights out on the town.

My fraternity chapter, the Detroit Alphas, was named 2023 Outstanding Alumni Chapter of the Year at the General Convention in Dallas. I was elected treasurer of the chapter. My chapter did so many things this year to be proud of. We took over 100 kids on a Christmas shopping spree, we served seniors through Meals on Wheels, we raised over $15,000 for March of Dimes, and awarded over $30,000 in scholarships.

Did I mention that MICHIGAN WON THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP??? Those of you who know me well know that I bleed maize and blue. This capped off such a wonderful year. I also won two of my three Fantasy Football leagues.

This past year was one that I will not soon forget. If you read this far, it means that you care, and I appreciate everything that you’ve done for me and my family over the last eight years. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I continue to be an advocate for Be the Match (now called NMDP), The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and March of Dimes. I set up a fundraiser for March of Dimes and hope you will support. Any amount is appreciated. See you next year!

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I am a cancer survivor and 2018 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man of the Year Candidate. I reside in Southfield, Michigan with my wife and two kids.

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