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 Broadcast Journalism. Tony is passionate about giving back to others that need help during their cancer battles. He is married to Carrie, and a father to 3 young daughters- Sierra, Gemma, and Alex.
My name is Tony Laudadio, I am a husband and father to 3 daughters, and I have cancer. I was first diagnosed in my 20's, July of 2013, with 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. Following that, I underwent 30 days of brain radiation and 14 months of physical therapy and chemotherapy. Currently, my cancer is stable. But the fight we are 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. I have kindly been told that I am inspiring and brave and some other qualities, but honestly I am just trying to be like my role models were to me growing up. My grandparents and parents, my three siblings, my aunts and uncles, cousins, my close friends are all people who showed me how to get through tough times.
Tony’s wife Carrie hiking in Tahoe
Most important of all, my wife, Carrie, has been my absolute rock through all of this. She was 7 months pregnant when they removed a tumor the size of a butternut squash from my kidney. Two years later, she was 8 months pregnant at MD Anderson when they operated on a large tumor in my brain. Her strength is remarkable.
Anyone who knows Carrie definitely knows how true this is. She has been with me every step of the way and our love is stronger now than it has ever been. Throughout all of this, she has managed to provide structure at home with our kids, and she has been my biggest inspiration every day.
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 3 daughters, my friends, and my family how to stare down adversity and continue to tell ‘em to “bring it on.”
(Pic above 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.”