Andrew Pawlak

 

We were told it’s a hernia, nothing to worry about. Boy, were they wrong! Andrew was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor in April of 2010. This is a very rare and very aggressive form of a sarcoma. Usually found in adolescent boys. He endured a rigorous and horrible protocol of chemo and usually ended up back in the hospital with an infection after each one. We traveled to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York as there is only two surgeons in the US familiar with this cancer. He made it through a 7 hour surgery but not w/o problems such as 2 trips to the ICU for breathing issues. Guess that will happen when half your diaphragm is removed along with many other organs! He continued to fight but in Aug. of 2011 he went into septic shock and spent an entire month unconscious. We were told multiple times they didn’t think he would pull through but he did! However, this allowed the cancer to spread and weaken him. We did try some internal radiation for his liver after that in NYC again but his body was just too tired. He passed away at home in his bedroom, his favorite place in the world! Andrew never complained, ever! He quietly but bravely plowed ahead with whatever we needed him to do. He never doubted he would beat this awful disease even towards the end. He was a quiet but strong, brave fighter! He was an avid snow boarder and swimmer. He loved the snowy hills and the water! He loved cars, his dirt bike and his family and friends. He taught himself to play guitar! He loved classic rock and playing video games. ¬†Our family talks about Andrew daily. Sometimes with tears, other times with laughter. We are heavily invested in organizations like the PUNT foundation and carry on Andrew’s memory with a race in his honor to help other families facing this horrible diagnosis. Andrew never took himself too seriously and was a joy to just hang with! He is so missed by his family! Life is just not the same without him here.

 

Lynn & John Pawlak