Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#MMBBR #Highlight F.I.G.H.T. Family Inspires Great Hope Together

"When it is YOUR child, the urge to fight is RELENTLESS!

F.I.G.H.T. is a powerful story that takes you through a battle with Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma through the eyes of a loving father seeking to find both answers and strength for his wife and daughters. Using his own intuition and experience with hardship, he doggedly pursues help, answers, and information regarding his 15-year-old daughter’s battle with this deadly form of cancer. Through his struggles, hardship, love, and loss, Joe takes you through his and his family’s battle with cancer in a living memory of his daughter Caitlyn, to help his family to remain strong.

This is HOW WE FIGHT!"

There is way more to it than can be described in a synopsis but to give you a better understanding Caitlyn was the most beautiful child any parent could wish for from God. Her strength was beyond words that can describe it although I think I did a pretty good job doing so in the book. Her type of cancer was so rare that it only effects 200 people WORLDWIDE each year and 95% of those who are diagnosed pass away from it within 2 years of diagnosis. To sum it up, she was given a few months to live and lasted 10 and a 1/2 months from day of diagnosis. As a parent or the actual patient you never lose that hope because if we don't have that we have nothing. Now I will always tell you we had our miracle with Caitlyn. I realized this and how simple miracles truly are after Caitlyn suffered from a bout with hepatic encephalopathy due to giving her chemo to try and combat the cancer. She started acting funny late at night on April 9th, 2009 and was completely out of her mind on April 10th. The hepatic encephalopathy caused her to slip into a coma in the early morning hours of April 11th which happens to be my wife's birthday. Later that night on April 11th I realized what our miracle was and it was that she didn't just pass away before we knew she was sick. We had this extra time with her that only God could give. It was a long recovery for her after this bout with hepatic encephalopathy but she did start to wake up on Sunday April 12th, 2009 and she called out daddy once that day. Now I was trying to avoid something like this happening on my wife's birthday who is also Caitlyn's mother but if you check your calender you will see that April 12 was also Easter Sunday that year. You can draw your own conclusions on the timing. Needless to say I have been touched by God in many ways and that was just one example out of many in my book.

My author bio:
Joe Bagnato was born July 23rd 1971 in Mount Kisco, New York to an Italian/American father, a manger at an auto dealership and Irish immigrant mother, a nurse who emigrated to America after having worked in Ireland, England and Scotland. He has one older sibling, a sister. He lived in Mount Kisco until his parents purchased a home the spring of 1974 in Mahopac New York. Their house was built upon an old cattle farm with the remnants of the watering hole beneath an old giant oak tree dominating the backyard and acting as a gateway to the woods beyond. With both parents working his grandfather’s became his mentor’s both in this suburban backdrop as well as in County Kildare Ireland. He was mostly Catholic schooled from kindergarten through high school and even spent a brief period of time going to school at the Christian Brother’s school in Ireland. He was an altar boy, an athlete and even a musician who could play multiple instruments including a dulcimer while singing until his voice broke.

During his preteen and teenage years Joe became the mediator of his family. When financial hardships hit, he kept the family together even when there was a breakdown between his mother and father’s relationship. His employment life started at an early age. Pumping gas at the family garage as early as 9 years old. When he was 12 he was a grounds keeper during the summer months and after school. At the age of 14 he worked in a pizzeria and even purchased his first car at the age of 15. High School athletics would take a backseat to being able to do for himself until his senior year when a car accident would determine the course of his life. Physical limitations would prevent him from following every boys dream of being a professional athlete. With his dreams nothing but a memory he followed his roots and the skills taught to him by his grandfathers that would ultimately lead to self employment.

Early in his adult life he was a mechanic and ran his own landscaping business. In 1993 he met his wife and soul mate Georgine and in 1994 their first of two daughters, Caitlyn, was born. In 1999 their second daughter Hailee was born. More important to him than being a father was being a dad, being everything that his father wasn’t to him. A devout family man and whiz at solving problems, a trait inherited from his grandfather. After being a mechanic and running a landscaping business, he ran a construction business and finally settled with an internet based business selling motorcycle parts and apparel. Throughout his life it has seemed like one struggle after another, always fighting something to maintain a family balance. It is said that God gives you what you can handle in life. With Hailee being born deaf and Caitlyn lost to cancer in 2009 at just 15 years old, we wonder how much any one person can handle or how much any family should have to endure. How Joe and his family handle life’s challenges is truly inspiring and it defines them for who they are, a family. You could call him a son, a brother, a mechanic, a landscaper, a builder, a problem solver, a husband or a father but he is best known as daddy.

My beta readers compared this book to John Green's "The Fault in our Stars" with the biggest difference being that was fiction while my book is absolute reality. The Putnam examiner also ran a feature on my book last month and can be found in the below link on pages 1 & 12:

The Putnam Daily Voice also ran a story which can be found at this link below:

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