We walk for David Hollander...
We walk for his bravery, and we walk in his memory. We also walk for the thousands like him suffering courageously with brain cancer. We walk for amazing organizations like ACCELERATE BRAIN CANCER CURE (ABC2) who helped us to gain access to David's medication targeted to his specific mutation when insurance denied us for being "off label". As we know, there is no cure. As a rare cancer, there also isn't enough money, research and new treatments. There isn't enough access to amazing care for all who are afflicted, and there isn't enough access to affordable treatments, clinical trials and cutting edge precision medicine. But there is hope, and in numbers there is strength. We hope you'll join us on May 7th, 2017 either by fundraising and walking beside us or by supporting Team Hollander with your generous donation.
This is David's story...
On the evening of October 11, 2013 our family was faced with the hardest of trials within any family dynamic. An illness that literally blew us away and came out of virtually nowhere. Emergency surgery. Brain cancer. One of the worst and most aggressive kinds of cancer in the world, GLIOBLASTOMA. How could it be? The odds of survival were staggering and grim, and stacked against us. So much so, that we were told by the doctors not to research or read anything online. Our family, despite this blow, believed that we would somehow overcome this. The word "prognosis" never even once entered into our vocabulary throughout all of the medical appointments and conversations. Our doctors and surgeons somehow knew that word just simply didn't apply to us.
Through it all David Hollander was never afraid. While our family was terrified on a daily basis he was calm and optimistic. Four brain surgeries. Rehab. He vowed to always fight, for himself and for us. And fight he did, through clinical trials and experimental treatments, genetic testing and multiple trips to the ER and ICU. Always onward. He pushed forward and we went along on the journey with him. He never complained about his illness, or the things that he was losing. He greeted each day with gratitude and set the pace and example for all of us over these past 3 years.
David supported a number of charities that were important to him. Children. Animals. Veterans. Feeding hungry people in NYC and taking care of our homeless. With every piece of good news we got from the doctors and scans, we would choose a charity and donate to give back for our good fortune. Yet David's finest charitable work came after surgery #3 in July of 2015 when he was given the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial that would mean he would be the very first in the country to have focused re-irradiation to activate a targeted drug being administered directly to his brain. His admission to the trial meant that he would be a phase 1 patient, or the one to test both the drug and procedure’s safety. Phase 1 trials are a great unknown and his surgeon explained that if he elected to move forward that it meant he would be closing the trial. If the treatment was deemed safe it would give them the ability to file the new protocol with the FDA and open the trial to others as a phase 2 to measure effectiveness. David saw this as an incredible opportunity to not only potentially be treated, but to personally contribute to forwarding the science and give back and help others with this illness. He was so incredibly proud to do it. Two days before he passed, we found out that the surgical team had coined the "Hollander Protocol”, which was not only approved by the FDA, but opened not one but TWO brand new Phase 2 trials. While we may never know how many people he has helped, we can only hope that it will be many. He considered this to be one of his life's greatest achievements and part of his purpose. He is our hero.
That is the greatest testament to who David Hollander truly was. If there's a word to describe and define David Hollander, it's “GRACE”. An amazing husband and father. A friend to all. The kindest man. A good guy. Like a brother. A second father. Others have said he was beyond emotionally intelligent. The best patient. Always honorable. Brilliantly hilarious. Wickedly hysterical. Able to be empathetic to anyone and everyone. Generous with his love. Always caring about others before himself. Always able to find the funny side of everything and anything. Even with all he had going on, he always cared to ask about how you were doing before he allowed it to be asked of himself. Courageous and kind, strong and honorable. Loving, funny and delicious.
David Hollander passed away peacefully on August 24, 2016. There is a hole now that can't be filled. He touched so many people's lives wherever he went and always left some of himself behind with them. Many of us have beautiful memories of him, and in those memories there is a forever love and gratitude for just having been lucky enough to have known him. He leaves quite a legacy and an indelible mark on so many who will never forget him. He had the grace, strength, courage and heart of 1,000 or more men.
We walk for David Hollander...Please join us!