As many of you know, cancer has hit our family hard these past few years, and this year in particular. In February 2016, our mother, Muriel Eingurt ("Nana" to our kids), went to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor. This turned out to be the result of stage 4 lung cancer, which had spread, not only to her brain, but to mutiple other locations in her body. Our father, Norm (or, "Grandpa" as the four grandkids called him), took care of our Mom, keeping track of every doctor's visit, every treatment, every symptom. Then in late fall of 2017, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. For the next year, Dad underwent treatment himself while making sure that it didn't interfere with his daily care for Mom (having taken over cooking and cleaning duties for the first time in his life). Through radition treatments, chemo treatments, then immunotherapy treatments, more radiation treatments, and back to chemo, and so on, trying to find something that would be successful in tackling the cancer, the Keyserling Cancer Center in Port Royal, South Carolina, got to know both Mom and Dad pretty well, a fact that we witnessed on a couple of occassions (had it been someplace else, maybe a certain fictional bar in Boston, they clearly would have greeted Dad with a hearty "Norrrrrm!" when he walked in), but, knowing Dad, this was not something that surprised any of us.
Fast forward, to November 2017, Mom's brain tumors kept coming back. Whole brain radiation, instead of the targeted therapy that she had been acustomed to, was now necessary. That treatment, along with a last ditch chemo course, sent her into the hospital right before Thanksgiving followed by a stay at a healthcare rehab facility for a few weeks - including over Christmas. When she finally came home in early January, Dad's cancer had progressed to the point where his liver was starting to fail. On January 17 of this year, he passed away. His disease, typically treatable if caught early, was too far along when discovered. That weekend, we celebrated his life with a memorial bagel gathering at our parents' house in Beaufort (marked with a Mets flag so that people knew exactly where to go) where friends and family showed up to fill the house with love and support for him and our mother.
In February, Mom, under the watch of hospice, moved up to Decatur and we got to see her almost every day - something that hadn't been true in almost 20 years. On May 11, with all three of her kids at her side, she finally passed away peacefully after an almost two and a half year battle with stage 4 lung cancer.
Despite dominating their lives for over two years, our parents were more than this cancer fight. They were amazing parents and grandparents and are missed every day by us, friends, family, neigbors, colleagues, and students having touched so many people during their journeys over 75+ years. They were lifelong teachers - they met as junior high school teachers at JHS 149 (Elijah D. Clark Junior High) in the South Bronx where they taught together for 30 years, although even retirement couldn't stop them; Dad with his book club, Mom presiding over the community garden club. Dad loved the Mets (despite his call for a boycott of current ownership, which didn't stop him from watching every game), walking on the beach, using his Barnes & Noble membership, and going to every sporting event we ever had growing up, even if it meant driving 3 hours to watch a double header in upstate New York in 45 degree weather and driving 3 hours back that afternoon. Mom loved cooking (though, she had to suffer through Dad's feeble attempts at feeding them over the last couple of years - you can only have scrambled eggs so often), gardening, making clothes for her kids and grandkids, and finding (and sharing) shopping deals and household tips on the internet.
We are running and walking in the Winship Win the Fight 5K Run/Walk to honor our parents and to help Winship's doctors, researchers, nurses and others find ways to make sure that future generations don't have to go through the type of fight that our parents went through.
We are asking for your support in this effort through donations to help us reach our modest team goal. Please consider making a donation of any amount. Even better - in addition to a donation, please sign up join us in honoring Norm and Muriel by coming out on October 13th to run or walk as a part of Team Eingurt with us - Rob, Doug, Katie, Carrie, Jaimee, Evie, Molly, Sean, and Benji!
Thank you for helping us with this cause and for honoring our parents. Your support is greatly appreciated.
If you are able to make a donation, you will have the option of directing your donation to one of many funds at Winship. For many of you this will be a personal decision based on your and your families' and friends' experiences and we urge you to support a fund that is meaningful to you, but if you aren't sure which fund to pick, please consider either the Winship Genitourinary Oncology Fund (supporting bladder cancer and kidney cancer research) in honor of Norm Eingurt, or the Winship Lung Cancer Fund in honor of Muriel Eingurt.
Again, thank you for your support!