Cancer Survivor Participates In Relay For Life Walk

Bay RidgeHuman Interest

Walking side-by-side as a family isn't something the Mark Barmante and his family take for granted. Especially because he almost lost his life nine years ago. "I really did feel like when I got out of the building I had a second chance," said Mark.

They're love was tested more than once. First, on Sept. 11, 2001, Mark was working on the 80th floor of Tower Two and escaped by just seconds. "On the way down our building got hit so we just hustled down the stairs and we got away," said Mark. Then, Mark, a father three, found out escaping the towers was just one hurdle. The second was his cancer diagnosis.

"I had been diagnosed with lukemia and it became a passion for our entire family." But ended up bonding his family.

And their road to recovery started at the Relay For Life in Bay Ridge, where they walked Saturday along with thousands of others. It gave them a place to help find and fund a cure.

"It became something that was important to the entire family and we've been doing it 11 years now," said Mark's daughter, Christa Bramante. Today, Mark is cancer free. But his family still feels the need to fight for a cure.

"Everyone has a reason to relay. He's my reason to relay," said his daughter Stephanie.

Collectively, the Relay in Bay Ridge has raised over a million dollars, since it started in the 90's. This year the American Cancer Society expects to raise 100,000 dollars.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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