With his wife Natalie by his side and six months pregnant with their first child, Pete Vaccaro of Berks County, Pa. received a devastating diagnosis. At just 31 years old, he had stage III B testicular cancer that had also spread to his liver and lungs.
Even worse, doctors told him that within the next 10 to 14 days, he would have tumor burden— the cancer was so serious that the chemotherapy would likely kill him before the cancer was treated. Two hours after entering Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia for his appointment, Vaccaro had his first chemotherapy treatment.
He underwent nearly five months of chemotherapy and had a ten-hour surgery to remove the lesions on his lungs and liver, a tumor in his abdomen, as well as one of his testicles.
Five years after his diagnosis, Pete was cancer-free and the couple started to think about having more children. Yet they knew the odds were not on their side.