Strong to the Max #FreeMax

Everyone who has the privilege of knowing Max Profeta knows that he is the life of the party. Max graduated from North Central High School in Indianapolis in 2012. He was an active member in BBYO, as well as a member of his high school golf team. Max came to Yeshiva University in the fall of 2012, not knowing a single familiar face. Coming with nothing but his larger than life personality and a smile on his face, he joined the golf team where he excelled as a regular in the starting rotation and later joined AEPI. He was an instant hit.

Max was not intimidated by the obstacles at hand. Being in a new school, in a new city wasn’t going to stop him from anything. He could have been shy and kept to himself like many would do in a similar situation, but yet he did the exact opposite. Nearly every person on campus knew Max by the end of the first month. Whether he was organizing an AEPI event or studying in the library, Max always kept a smile on his face and consequently on ours.

It was September 10, 2014, just ten days before Max’s highly anticipated 21st birthday. After two weeks of feeling sick, Max decided he should get medical attention. When the news got out that Max was in the hospital, his closest friends immediately rushed out to be with Max at Mount Sinai. It was typical Max, surrounded by his brother Eli and his best friends cracking jokes and making the best of a scary situation.

Minutes later, Eli got the inevitable call from his father, Dr. Profeta. Eli solemnly walked into the already overcrowded room to inform us of Max’s prognosis. “Max“, he said, “you have Leukemia.” We were all dumbstruck and couldn’t even begin to comprehend what we heard. One of our best friends was just diagnosed with Cancer. From there on out, Max’s courageous journey began.

After that gloomy night, nothing was quite the same. Just like the devastating news, so too, did panic spread like wildfire. Two days later, our student government at Yeshiva University organized a prayer rally to show solidarity toward Max and his family. It was a beautiful scene. Thousands of fellow students, even those who didn’t even know Max, gathered in one place, for one purpose: To pray for Max. 

Once the official diagnosis was given, Max was transferred to Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, where he spent the next month. Test after test, needle after needle, without truly knowing what his future held. Max was presented with the toughest battle that most will ever endure. People often fold under tough times but not Max. He kept a smile along the way. As visitor after visitor came to be with their dear friend, Max would relentlessly make sure that his guests were comfortable. Whether it was him offering candy, food, drinks or just a good story, Max’s selflessness and perseverance that he has displayed through this agonizing seven month battle has been an inspiration to all who are lucky enough to know Max. 

Max has been kicking cancers ass! He recently finished his final round of chemotherapy and is now just waiting to hopefully be discharged from the hospital as soon as his immune system and blood counts are adequate. As Max’s best friends, we want to use this platform, to help raise money for research toward Leukemia and Lymphoma as well as celebrate Max’s recovery the proper way, outside the pediatric ward. We understand that not everyone can financially donate but spreading the page and Max’s incredible journey is equally valuable. 


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Leo Inguaggiato 
New York, NY
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