The Battle Off The Track: How Cancer Has Affected Our Racing Families

(Press Release from OTB Promotions)

OTB Promotions LogoCancer is one of the most challenging diseases the human race has encountered. Nearly everyone knows someone dealing with cancer, or has dealt with the disease, themselves. When in remission, the battle can heighten a person’s sense of livelihood. For Charles Vanada, cancer awakened a whole new outlook on life.

Vanada, known by his friends and family as Chuck, was experiencing back pain in August of 1999, so he set up an appointment at Morton Hospital, in Taunton, MA with Dr. Robert McNamee. During the exam, Dr. McNamee noticed Vanada’s lymph nodes were enlarged, and after running tests, Chuck was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Vanada’s first thought was of his family, and went on to say “When I was originally diagnosed, it was expressed to me that, although this type of cancer was treatable, it was not curable (since his original diagnosis, a cure has been discovered). This weighed on my mind, because I wanted to beat this, so I could see my children (Josh and Jake) grow to become adults, and be there for my wife (Deborah).”

The next step for Vanada was chemotherapy. The treatment went well, with little to no complications, which brought a period of time where no treatment was required. A regiment of chemotherapy and radiation followed, and, in September of 2009, Chuck underwent a successful stem cell transplant, and has been in remission ever since.

His bout with cancer was tough, but Chuck was fortunate to not experience many dark days. Vanada wrote “I had great faith, and was fortunate enough I tolerated the treatment very well. I have always been grateful I was faced with this, as opposed to a child (facing this disease). Originally, I was concerned about the time I missed from work, and how it would affect my future, and my family, but my faith in God and my family inspired me to continue on.”

Now 54-years-old, Vanada explains how cancer has changed his outlook on life, saying “I’ve learned to appreciate life and all its events more, and not worry about the small stuff. The sky is bluer, and the grass is greener.”

Even though his diagnosis has brought challenges along the way, it did not ruin his life. Vanada continues “I wouldn’t change anything about my journey. It has brought my wife and I closer together, and given me a whole new perspective on life.”

Vanada’s bout with cancer is a successful one, and offers this advice for those who have been recently diagnosed, or in the process of treatment, saying “During the hard times, you need to talk to God, and pray he helps you get through each day, and rely on the support of your family and friends.”

Chuck Vanada’s story is the first of many stories Outside the Box Promotions will highlight, in preparation for the Karting to Conquer Cancer benefit go-kart event, being held at On Track Karting, in Wallingford, CT, January 16, 2016. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Contact Shawn Sicard, Director of Communications for Outside the Box Promotions, via email, [email protected].

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