WEEI>On Demand>>D&C - Rich Cormio, 59, myelofibrosis, a rare blood cancer

D&C - Rich Cormio, 59, myelofibrosis, a rare blood cancer

Aug 30, 2016|

Rich is an electrical teacher at the Medford Vocational Technical High School. Shortly before the Boston Marathon bombing, he started to feel unusually tired and was diagnosed with exhaustion. A few weeks and a number of blood tests later, he was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer known as myelofibrosis and was told that the only cure was a stem cell transplant. In August 2013, a match was found: a 29-year old man from Germany. He received the stem cell transplant in October 2013 after 4 days of massive doses of chemotherapy. He was in the hospital for a month, and because he had no immune system, he lived in seclusion until February 2014. He had limited visitors, no food that was not prepared in the house, no fresh fruits or vegetables; he couldn't even have a Dunkin’s coffee! In August 2014, he ran into some complications due to the transplant and could not go back to teaching until January 2015, 14 months after his transplant. While in recovery, in September 2014, he was teaching a class via Skype and a student came up with an idea—the student built a robot that Rich could control from home and maneuver around the classroom. The story about the invention appeared in the Boston Globe and on Channel 7. Rich and his wife, Therese, have three children, Ricky, 32, Tim, 29 and Julianne, 27. They also have a beautiful and amazing grandson, Tyler, 2. Rich is a die-hard Red Sox fan and sports fan in general. Rich and Therese like to travel; Disney World and cruising are their favorite vacations.

You Might Like

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Joining us here at the broadcast like good morning mrs. rich Korea riches from Medford he's 59. A teacher at the Medford vocational technical high school. And was diagnosed with model for our type roast as good morning rich how large your morning obviously doing very very well talk about your situation caught or diagnosed and know where we are now in the process. I was back in 2013. I was feeling very tired and when Mike. My. Bachmann local doctors who I am my wife's urging I was gonna let it go for awhile but you know a wives which. And and they say they immediately took about thirteen blood tests and got called back in and they told us and he gets a considers here and they set me up with the oncology people went as hospital. And once that moment finally had mild fibrosis she said look this is too big for us and it's and it wasn't. And she had already arranged meeting goes it is dark too wobbly who happens leading expert mean in marrow fibrosis. So we met with doctor wobbly on May 22 which was Libya to my birthdays don't forget the date. And she confirmed the diagnosis. And knowing it would atlas I'd never heard a mild fibrosis. Argument is of that stem cell transplant and I didn't have an ideal was. Turns out it's against these two colonies of blown out by right now it's stamps. So explain all my options and in fact at one point she said you know so it. If you don't wanna follow our plan you know and really make it. With missed those few what you wanna do so did that buckle your duties or with there's so much information you were not aware of and didn't understand that you were just trying to sift through reef we knew about it and she said you know tell us what you know and I said well you know I heard that this is like ball and alternate human it's not going to be life threatening and she's at. Nothing she went this way with each other's oh this is not who we thank him so. So when she gave me my options that says look this is Dana where ultimatum to go right you know I'm an auto which just allows us. So. Then they began she told me it was gonna happen she was I my own college's law before the transplant. Menuing doctor Cohen yesterday and he was the guy to cure is stem cell transplant and they set out looking for us themselves owner my sister was not a match. Which kind of raising questions about about the story and there was one right next door there was not one right next door so. We went to the worldwide. Use them so registry which is beauty of match dot org which people can register and would be great that you do this again beat them all beat them happy a lot of match dog or who I those people love them they have the nationals stem cell registry here. While it turns out that Germany has a huge steps now and they found my match in Germany. And a quick little story so like I get the matching go into the hospital you get four days of massive chemotherapy it Ryo was on trio it was a before days in the news today off and then they put in stem cells in the stem cells it just like getting a bag bulletin here than about the bullet. So. That night my family was around in my daughter in law was pregnant migrants and and we do note the time you don't find out this kind of interesting so. Because we do know the sex of the baby they used to just record maybe is the eco. But no other reason that Google we've only voice of the map so my wife made a point to say tonight Donald while Nico is with us and that's good you know. We'll turn them stem cell donor from Germany whose name is Niko much obvious as well as sweet and I mean two years later we found this. So that was just that. Wow incredible actually you know what is notre yes I do week we communicate all the awesome yeah. Am at right now messenger we each other jobs in nice guy and have a think I'm sure he would. I know he's the same age my son he's 32 years yeah. And he reads we communicate all the time he speaks English we tried it when faced with the makers of time amnesty and we. And they were very nice people but they don't lose beacon as well so we decided messenger would be investment ago I guess you send him something nice for Christmas at some allies we thought when I saw lots of things that tonight there very nice and the baby. And might grandstand Tyler he has the Tyler. Tyler yes we cannot say no that's considered. Is that a short and it took two years for us to find out about the politics they don't like to find out right away. So. And once I found out we start communicating it's been awesome the relationship that we have. What about complications you did run into some it was not a smooth sail well so I went through that first year and you've got to be home. Isolated for the first few months you know take out food nothing you can only go fooled me you know as those salads vegetables nothing. So things were going along actually pretty well and around. June. I got the OK go back to school in September I was really excited because I was gonna be the poignant that is until 2050 this is to go to 1414 yeah. Well a little bit later or like in July late July early August ecstatic to feel funny and I was getting this thing called GBH would. Graft vs host disease yes GB HD. And that's what happens is themselves adjective of your body. And based out rejecting your boy from so they were eating my my red blood cells looking at them like they were form points. In this is caused him major problem actually jaundice and turned completely yellow and they were only a few things that they could do to fix this time. Think about the doctor ho yet this. Madison called toxic. And they said Bennett to use them in infuses of this reduction but we have to ask if your questions first question was do you have any mice in house. Exactly so my wife Ellie no we don't why well this is made of some kind of mostly him. Could who have most of the enemy house to speculate. Okay we don't have my so that was good well did you double checked. I did a robotic cat every note about a couple of a cockroach to go and not a traps that that. We will injuries. So weak we and to my first one of those and I'm telling it was like six hour ordeal because it takes very long time. But personally it's a very dangerous thing in his nurses they come and doing your blood pressure every fifteen minutes and second minute to operate it the first one was tightened. Only time consuming there was never any pain I have to say. There was never any pain of this whole ordeal the only at a couple of bad days you know that the chemo wipes your immune system. Andy really fiction model and so it's emotionalism things but only maybe 23 days but the noses. Let's XP. Over. Bring them Emmys and then they have God's angels owner they really are indeed so anyway I went to this protection for the next four weeks. In about the second week in the east that realize in my ability rule was coming down. And these were getting better so. The other part of that Egypt via massive doses of pride in his. And friend zone also picture immune system down so he wouldn't let me go back to school. So I didn't really go back to school told being wary restive Christmas break into that as a fifty. Folk but when I'm look at the story here channel seven the globe so you're teaching a class in this two incomes of an idea to build a robot right so when I couldn't go back to school yet I called Michael teacher in my directory enabled agreed that I could teach from home and where is this I'm sorry Matt met Redford right vocational vocal track yet. Right defeat me out yes and it's for. So. They let me teach them home in this worked out well we did facetime and I figured a way to put Powell points that I could control my house and put them on the board in the school. And one of the students noticed that kids are asking questions but I can't see them. So nearly turned the things that you decided we had this robotics program he went through watch program and talk to the teacher Damon to distraught wife. And some of them we had it work and I was able to move it around the room. And you know ahead a couple of glitches and by the time we really got it working well I screwed everything up and went back to schools still love hate relationship they'll often exist between teachers and students yet. Really tip toward a love relationship absolutely it was but that's great Raymond she's he's a mobile right now reason. The two plus two program for the mass colleges and he'll be going on to US wal and next after this year. Actually I wrote what is offered him an internship. Because of all I'll also Nazis on jury gives you all the credit no that is involved on him I had nothing to do I it was if they call me and told me yeah you know. It's so rich you're cruiser on told right now live like to travel that's that's that's sort of a strange way to French product 'cause I love my come up. That's always a place yet. It's it's it's term opium and an aunt and Perkins Jerry wanna go on a cruise at some point to Google would you recommend it we're just Arabian ya gotta destination and get as you know give MacKenzie yeah I get seasick you know get seasick ever and you can you know feel the ups and everybody says that and I don't make it on our enemy -- the year I was sick. That summer they market this medication object to fight was only year on the market again and it really got me through that summer or otherwise I just really I couldn't make it for my kitchen to my live votes and in the night. That's so one on ones. So as the medicine took over and I cited feel better on the beginning of August a life as the doctor if we can take a vacation. And they said well you know what we think you can handle it we wanna go so it would take a cruise and that's OK perfect vacation as a relaxing. And the thing is I couldn't have done any this to support my family my friends. Special. Yeah. But out. We had a group of friends who finally goes who's they dropped everything came with us I don't know does that you know and we still to this day couldn't do so but he yet but still we always knew there was like six of us who have on this whose we have the best to a direct. In the Callahan by the drink package. Yes it everything on the money now we just came back when that was it yet you what was I'm in this that you would like for swimmers or. Drew closer cruiser and rather. Confused there are a fine line rent per meal format for thanks very much for getting up early Saturday night as a boy if you more than anybody else understand the connection between. Money donated and research success I know that Jack if I wasn't on the market and was only a year on my sickening some of it has to be because of the money that's donated here and everyplace else it's great it's incredible rich good to see you thank you very many explosions coming up.

News & Analysis