On September 13, 2017, Class of 2008 Seahawk David Cavalieri shared these heart-wrenching words with his Facebook friends:
"I lay here in an unfamiliar bed I have made my own these last four nights surrounded by family and friends. I came to INOVA Fairfax Hospital this past Saturday to treat what should have been a relapse in pneumonia, at least that's what doctors and tests at the time were suggesting. Unfortunately, things changed forever the moment I checked-in to the emergency room. Heart-wrenched, I underwent more extensive and complicated tests to discover it never was pneumonia...all results prove a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins High-Grade B-Cell Lymphoma — cancer — at 27 years old, I have cancer.
Today I will begin chemotherapy to start chipping away at a tumor that has pushed aside a majority of my left lung and has been very cozy with my heart. For the next months of treatment I will be doing everything I can to win this fight, but I'll need all of you cheering me on from the sidelines. You have no idea how much I need you all!
The battle begins and you better believe I'll beat this kicking and screaming with high spirits blazing! I need to beat this...I WILL beat this! Here we go!"
Since his initial diagnosis, David has met both victory and struggle. Shortly after completing chemotherapy, his cancer returned–and since then, he has battled tirelessly and undergone experimental treatments in the ongoing fight for his life. I encourage you to follow his story here: https://www.facebook.com/davidcav
Remarkably, when I approached David about the possibility of a class fundraiser or drive to benefit him, his response was to give back–even during the most trying moments of his life:
"Honestly, I have such a hard time accepting favors. I can get so lost in people's generosity in just thinking, "What did I do to deserve this?" Perhaps it's that the question of, "Why me?" should be changed to, "Why ONLY me?" Because of that, if the Class of 2008 were to do anything, I'd love to help raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society–whose research I am so thankful for. Research I owe my life to."
And so, in honor of David's selfless request, we've set up this fundraiser through LLS. I encourage each of you to donate what you can, and to share David's story with your networks. Let's show cancer what happens when it messes with a Seahawk.