Supporting Our Own

Nathan Orsini is not attending Quinnipiac at the moment—but we still think of him as being here with us and in his third year.  Unfortunately, Nate is being kept away by his battle with cancer.  We are proud of Nate, and miss him very much.  He recently wrote to me (Kathy, Program Director) saying, “I really enjoyed the support the program gave me before and after my diagnosis.”  He also emphasized that he loves “being challenged intellectually,” and that the “Honors Program was able to offer that to me.”  When I read that I smiled—because Nate also offers challenges to us. I smile every time I remember his contributions to our first-year seminar.  Especially important to us here at Quinnipiac, for Nate, Honors is “also the place where I met some of my best friends.”

Nate was the speaker at the Opening Ceremonies of this year’s Relay for Life; Honors students gathered in a show of program t-shirts to support Nate, cheer him on in his ongoing work against cancer, and walk for the cure.

Nate’s team raised $4,270; the most out of any of the 60 participating teams.

Here is Nate’s speech:

“I’m Nathan Orsini and was loving my sophomore year here at the great QU. Then, on my 20th birthday, November 11, I received one of the most unimaginable presents ever, a diagnosis of diffuse intrapontine glioma, an inoperable and incurable brain cancer.

I was loving life and now it was all flipped upside down. No trip to Disney that winter and no move to North Carolina that summer. I underwent the radiation and chemotherapy treatments and started to feel normal again. I was going to the gym, coaching soccer, and taking an online class, psych 101 was pretty awesome. The hardest part was losing my independence.  But I was able to work it back.

I couldn’t have done this without the support of my community, friends, and family.  I can’t tell you how nice it was to come home from Philly every day during treatment to a nice dinner prepared by a friend and dropped at our house. It never failed to put a smile on my face when I received cards or notes from friends showing their support.

Getting a diagnosis of cancer is incomprehensible until you go through it and you really begin to appreciate everything around you.  It opens your eyes to new experiences.  You really don’t know how much you take for granted in life until you are faced with something like this. It is important to stay positive during the journey. I wish I knew before to take advantage of all the opportunities out there.

This Relay for Life walk is an opportunity for us today to support the fight against cancer. Hopefully we will see people celebrate more birthdays.  My next one is 2 months from today and I plan on being there for my first drink. Progress is being made slowly every day.

Even though life gives us these hurdles we keep plodding along.  Everyone has rough days but you need to keep fighting. So let’s walk tonight to continue the fight, raise some money and have some fun!”

Nathan Orsini, September 11, 2015, Opening Ceremonies, Relay for Life, Quinnipiac University

QuinniPeople: Nathan Orsini – Q30 News