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Tony was a joy to his mother and me from the day of his birth in 1980 through to the day he left us in 2008.
I was given the chance to speak publicly about Tony during his senior year at Duke University. The occasion was an evening meal in spring 2003 for the family and friends of young men who were brothers in the Kappa Alpha social fraternity on campus. A tradition of this chapter was for the fathers of the graduating seniors to address the guests on the subject of their sons. When my turn at the podium came, I spoke of three ways in which Tony filled me with pride. First, I spoke of his hard work while at Duke, as he was to graduate magna cum laude in Biology in just a few months. Secondly, I spoke of his decision to continue his education by attending medical school, where his life's work would center on helping people stricken with cancer. Thirdly - and most importantly, I told the audience - I spoke of the constancy of Tony's devotion to his family. I said that although time had put physical distance between Tony and us, he had remained the thoughtful and loving son he had always been, ever mindful of the needs of his family.
His mother and I do not need a day in May to remind us of Tony. Tony is with us each day, always. Our love for him runs deep, and this will continue for the remainder of our lives. But the Race for Hope affords others who respected or loved him, or are friends of ours, to remember him in a public manner, in a public event, alongside the family Tony loved and respected.
Please join us on May 4.
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