Big Climb takes steps to fund cancer research this weekend

BOSTON, Mass. — The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Big Climb event is more than just a fundraiser for this year’s chairperson Nick Santaniello. It’s the start of a new chapter.

Doctors diagnosed him with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2020.

“They just told me that I had a tumor, the size of a softball stuck in my chest,” Santaniello told Boston 25 News. “I started writing goodbye emails to my family.”

It took 6 months of chemo to kick cancer, and through it all, Santaniello says LLS was on his side. The organization connected him with resources, and he learned about using exercise to stay on track. He participated in Livestrong workouts, tailored for cancer patients, with trainer Melinda Madruga at the Melrose YMCA.

“The first day that he walked in. He was struggling to get up the stairs,” said Madruga. “Now he can do those stairs 46 times and not think twice about it.”

Saturday May 7th, Santaniello will put those workouts to good use by chairing the LLS Big Climb event at One Financial Center in Boston.

“I truly feel I’ve had a second chance at life. So I’ve made things like volunteering and making time to help others a permanent fixture in my life,” Santaniello said.

“So I did beat cancer, I won. But I definitely did not do it alone. It’s my way to give back and repay all the kindness and the love and support that so many people in organizations gave to me, and hopefully help inspire and save others,” Santaniello added.

To register or Donate for the Big Climb 2022 at One Financial Center in Boston, visit Big Climb Boston.

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