MPS in Integrated Marketing Communications
Marketing Execution Senior Specialist, SAP National Security Services
In late April 2020, I sat across from my doctor at Georgetown University Hospital. For the first time in five years of treating me, I saw uncertainty on her face. She explained to me that nobody had ever seen Hodgkin’s Lymphoma behave the way mine had. A therapy I’d been undergoing targeted the disease in my bloodstream, so the disease moved into my skin where it could hide and rot my body.
My doctor told me there was one more treatment option, but was upfront in saying it was a long shot. I needed to begin preparing for the end of my life.
I had just selected my summer courses. My wife suggested I drop them. My wife had just finished her MPS in Public Relations & Corporate Communications with SCS so she knew how stressful the workload could be.
I told her: “No. We have to remain faithful and keep praying, but also…if I die, I want to die a Hoya like you.”
I started my longshot treatment the same week I started summer classes. After the second treatment I spent three days in bed. It hurt to even think. I prayed. I doubted. I prayed. Then I got out of bed and got to work. I had a group project to contribute to.
The pain after the treatment was my body releasing cytokines. The pain meant treatment was working.
Things got easier after each treatment. I continued to work with my group. We got an A on our project. I got an A in the class and ended up helping the instructor by serving on the judging panel for the next semester’s students’ final presentations.
I left my job while facing this challenge, but not school. Because of this I felt an obligation to give my all to each course and especially each group project. I was blessed to have time, to even be alive, so I always gave my all for my fellow students and fully intend to live a life in service of others.
I’ve been cancer-free since the final weeks of summer classes. I am blessed to be here. I don’t know how long I’ll have, but I feel a duty to spend that time helping others. I believe choosing to continue my studies is what set me down the current path I’m on and thank God for Georgetown, its incredible faculty and staff, and my fellow students at the School of Continuing Studies.
Who has had a significant influence in your life to help you get to where you are today and why?
I would not exist as I am without Erin, my wife. Her love, support, inspiration and guidance have been essential in shaping me professionally, personally, and spiritually.
I’m not sure there’s a person alive who has a more complicated relationship with Georgetown. I watched her complete her MPS in Public Relations and Corporate Communications—an impressive feat in and of itself. But I saw her do it during several semesters where she would go from spending the day at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to care for and visit me while I underwent various cancer treatments, or would have to shuttle me back and forth to treatments when I wasn’t actively staying in the hospital, to then spending her evenings shifting from caretaker mode to student mode.
Some people worry about what grade they’ll get on an assignment. She was worried about her husband living through the semester. Whenever I face hardship, I think of what my wife has overcome and aspire to be more like her.