Tony Laudadio's Story
Tony was performing Sales with Henry Schein Medical when he was forced out of work by a 2nd cancer diagnosis in 2 years (Kidney cancer and Brain cancer). He previously worked in the solid waste and recycling industry as a Major Account Exec, as well as being a Sales Manager for ReBath of Austin. He graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX with a degree in Communications & Broadcast Journalism. Tony is passionate about giving back to others that need help during their cancer battles. And best of all he is a loving father to 3 daughters- Sierra, Gemma, and Alex.
My name is Tony Laudadio and I am a cancer warrior. I was first diagnosed in my 20's, July of 2013, with Stage 3 renal cell carcinoma and a very large tumor. It caused me to lose my right kidney and forced me out of work for several months. I thought I was well on my way to recovery and potentially ringing the bell (sort of a fun cancer free ritual they do at MD Anderson) when I unexpectedly had my first two seizures. On September 24, 2015, I was diagnosed with a second, completely unrelated cancer — brain cancer.
After my docs determined I had Oligodendroglia Grade 3 Brain cancer, I underwent a successful “awake craniotomy,” which is a very specialized and rare surgery. It was about 8-10 hours long and I was awake for most of it. For the next 18 months I endured a combination of of brain radiation, physical therapy, and chemotherapy. Currently, my cancer is stable. But the fight I am facing is far from over and it will most likely be one that I battle for a long time.
I feel like I have a great attitude and I think that is an absolute must with cancer. I have been told that I am inspiring and brave, but honestly I am just trying to be like my role models were to me growing up. My grandpa also had 3 daughters, multiple cancers among other health problems, and yet he showed me how to get through adversity trying to make others feel better with a smile and remembering to laugh today because tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Below- Gemma & Tony at his happy place on the Beach in Lake Tahoe after he completed 18 months of treatment.
Finally, I have always loved competition. I treat this experience like an adverse competitive situation, which is never something I have shied away from in the past. Anybody that knows me, knows that I live for those kind of moments. At times, cancer does test my resolve and patience, but I now use such a tough life issue to show my friends and family how to stare down adversity and keep looking forward to better times and thriving with my life.
(Pictured below from L-R: Tony's brother Cary, cousin Steve Moore, Tony, and best friend Brandon Pohn)
Thanks for reading my story. I hope that it might inspire you, or someone else you may be close with so please share it with others. I also encourage others to reach out for help if you need it.
“Worry is a terrible waste of the imagination.”