In 2010, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Bryan Fazio was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Since then, he has been in a fight for his life with stage four cancer. An unsuccessful bone marrow transplant last September left Bryan with a fifteen percent chance of survival. In anticipation of the worst, Bryan, at only twenty-four-years-old, began writing his will with his mother, Sheryl, by his hospital bedside.
During this time, his mother was terminated from her job after taking time off to care for her son. The mortgage bills, the expenses for gas, and other travel necessities began to pile up. This is when the Semper Fi Fund stepped in. We gladly supported Bryan and his family during their trying time by alleviating financial burdens and supplying Bryan with an iPad in the hospital as a means of staying connected with family and friends.
Bryan's caseworker visited him while he was hospitalized to show him that the Semper Fi Fund would always be by his side to provide financial and emotional support.
"You run into so many closed doors and unreturned phone calls…June (Semper Fi Fund caseworker) was always there," says Sheryl. "We consider her part of the family."
After the first failed surgery, and despite the near-impossible odds of finding a perfect match for a bone marrow donor, Bryan made the decision he was not ready to stop fighting. In May 2012, Bryan had his second bone marrow transplant surgery after discovering that his brother was a 10/10 match.
"It was a miracle, really," says their mother, Sheryl.
Bryan's doctors had given him a twenty-five percent chance of survival for this second surgery. Yet, during recovery, the stem cell treatment proved successful and Bryan's blood counts began to improve.
The miracle continues today, as Bryan is no longer hospitalized. He wears a smile, despite the challenges he still faces on a daily basis. He lives in Irvine, CA, and still commutes to San Diego for his appointments. The Semper Fi Fund continues to assist Bryan with the expense of commuting to and from these vital appointments.
Bryan is incredibly grateful for the donors and supporters of the Semper Fi Fund. His amazing attitude and endearing story stand as a reminder of why the Semper Fi Fund was formed: for as much as our heroes have sacrificed, they deserve the best care and support available in their hour of need.
Thank you, Bryan, for your service to our country, and your inspirational spirit!
Bryan, and other service men and women, have answered the call to serve; now we can answer the call to help. Please join in our mission of "serving those who preserve our freedom."