I’m very sad to say my second cousin John Michael passed away on July 17th. John Michael was a father, a husband, a son, a brother, and a hard working steel worker. He leaves behind two children Tyler and John, his mother Joannie, and his siblings Doug and April.
Born on August 12, 1975, same year as me, John Michael was less than a month short of his 47th birthday when he succumbed to kidney and lung cancer. He was an iron worker, hard working man, building sky scrapers in New York City. He was very proud of his work and would point to buildings he worked on to his daughter and say “I helped build that.” He had volunteered at the 9/11 site in New York for the cleanup effort which was linked to his cancer.
Unfortunately, tragedy befell the Low family before July of 2022. John Michael’s stepfather (from a young age all 3 siblings considered him their father) prematurely passed from cancer in 2020. John Michael’s brother, Doug (also my second cousin) has testicular cancer which has metastasized to his intestines. The prognosis is not good. Doug’s wife Lolly lost her job caring for Doug and their 3 children, Victoria, Natalia, and Bella. Doug worked for my company Manhattan Aquariums for some years before he moved on to the MTA in 2013. Unfortunately the MTA did not provide any disability or pension for Doug when he fell ill in 2016.
Doug and his mother Joannie (my first cousin once removed) are heartbroken, she has lost two of the most important men in her life, and now a third is on the brink. The family is trying to arrange for memorial services, but on the day of John Michael’s passing his sister April and her family tested positive for COVID, so they must also deal with that for now.
It has been a very tough fight for the family. Without any income the house, Joannie and Doug’s family reside in, has been falling behind on payments.
Just 13 months apart in age, John Michael’s passing hit cousin Doug especially hard. Doug is on some experimental cancer treatments as a last ditch effort to turn this cancer around. We are hopeful.
The family appreciates any help you can offer to help alleviate this tragic situation. They are hard working people that got hit with three cancers in the family, in a short amount of time, 2 have been terminal.
If you can find the willingness to help, even if it’s just $1, that would make the lives of the family members that remains, that much better.
I thank you in advance for your compassion and generosity.