As most of you probably know by now LBG has launched it’s annual Pink Warrior Project in support of October and breast cancer awareness month. During the month of October we launch a special edition Pink “Warrior” tee shirt. We have decided to donate all of the proceeds from the Pink Warrior sales to a local family that is currently battling cancer to help alleviate some of their financial burden. ChuckHarcourt and his family from Basking Ridge, NJ will be the recipients of this year donation. He and his family were nominated by his sister-in-law Cindy Carracino. Chuck is a true Warrior and we would like to share their story.
We hope that you will read his story and be inspired to purchase a tee to help support them and someone you know who is battling cancer. When you purchase a PW tee through the end of October, we will donate a tee to a Warrior in your life.
Chuck’s family refers to him as their “Miracle Man”! It is the only way to describe a man who has overcome the battles he has faced. He is a true Warrior.
Chuck was in the World Trade Center during the first bombing in 1993. An experience that would prepare him to think fast eight years later when he was one of the last survivors to escape out of the Twin Towers on 9/11. He was not able to contact his family until he finally stumbled into his home late that clear September night. He realized that he was given a second chance at life and would embrace every moment of it. He vowed he would never look at life the same again… he would forget about the small stuff and ENJOY LIFE!
And that he did. Seven years later Chuck was vacationing in the Outer Banks with his wife, his daughter Kelsey and his three sons Kyle, Kevin and Karson. It was Kevin’s 8th birthday and while taking a walk, Chuck suddenly fell to the ground, suffering from a heart attack. His wife and four children watched frantically as an off duty lifeguard miraculously performed CPR and he was then medevaced to a nearby firehouse, and eventually medevaced home where he was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. He underwent a heart valve replacement surgery that would require months of recovery. But all went well and our warrior was given a THIRD chance at life.
Several years went by and Chuck had returned to work and was enjoying life, as any busy, hard working father of four kids would do. Chuck had lost his own dad while in high school, so these years were never taken for granted. He was at every game, school event and family activity he could possibly get to. He was enjoying every moment of his 3rd chance at life.
But it wasn’t long before Chuck was faced with yet another challenge. In April of 2012 he contracted an infectious disease that attacked his heart and caused the valve to tatter, necessitating another replacement. This time however, the recovery did not go as well and he suffered a stroke at the stem of his brain. There were days when his family was afraid that he would not pull through. He didn’t recognize his own wife and children and the stroke left him with no use of his right arm. But Chuck underwent months of physical, cognitive and speech therapy and this warrior made it through yet again. He still does not have full use of his right hand, but he fully recovered cognitively. His recovery was nothing short of a miracle.
Life was looking good for Chuck and he was ready to consider a return to work to support his family when life intervened yet again. On September 11th of this year, exactly 12 years to the day since Chuck’s outlook on life was changed by surviving the attack on the World Trade Center, he visited his doctor complaining of some back pain and heard the words “you have cancer”. After a couple of weeks of tests on Chuck’s 51st birthday, his doctor confirmed that he has a very rare form of liver cancer that he most likely contracted from a blood transfusion during his valve replacement surgery. How much more bad news could one man and one family handle? The news would not get better. A recent cat scan has shown that he cancer has now spread to Chuck’s kidney and rib cage.
Chuck’s family has been by his side throughout all of his challenges and the Harcourts are an inspiring tight-knit family. Cindy, our applicant and Chuck’s sister-in-law says of his wife “My sister is the strongest, bravest, most amazing woman I know. She has single handedly carried her family through all of this. She never complains or asks for help. She simply carries on and gets through day by day.” Chuck’s daughter Kelsey who is now a sophomore at Scranton University, offered to put her studies on hold when her father suffered a stroke last year. But her parents insisted that she go to school. Kyle is a senior in high school and is a volunteer firefighter. He is currently applying for colleges as well. Kevin is 13 and is a talented athlete. He travels across the county to compete for his NJ hockey tournament team and plays baseball and lacrosse as well. Karson, the youngest of the Harcourt kids, is 10. He has grown up seeing his dad struggle his whole life. But he, and all of his brothers and sister have also known their dad to always be there. Chuck has been at every game, match or event. He is their biggest fan and that will never change.
Throughout the years Chuck has not always been able to work to support his family and his wife has only a part time job at a pre-school so that she can be home to take care of Chuck and their four children. The loss of income and cost of medical treatments and doctors visits have created a financial burden for the family. The Harcourts and Chuck’s doctors have now decided to treat this rare and incurable cancer with a new drug that will have some rough side effects for Chuck. The drug will cost $4,000 a month. Needless to say, trying to keep a home, support a family of 6, put two children through college and keep Chuck healthy is not (and has not been) and easy road for the Harcourts.
In Cindy’s words, “Cancer will not beat Chuck. He is a Warrior. Our very own Miracle Man”.
We ask that you please consider purchasing a Pink Warrior tee to help support Chuck and the Harcourt Family. You can purchase both Men’s and Women’s Pink Warrior tees by following the link below. For every PW tee purchased, we will donate one to Warrior in your life who has beaten cancer or who is currently battling it.