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Published on August 12, 2014 in Share Your Story

The Lion


No one told me that he had passed. Everyone kept it a secret knowing if I found out right away, I would have lost my own mind. Leo Lezcano was the only best friend I could trust to tell anything to and was someone who was always there for me whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk too. He had a wonderful soul and great spirit; whom followed his greatly morals and spiritual values. Leo never refused to help anyone who needed him and was sure someone to count on always being there no matter how severe the problem was.

We shared tons of memories and looking back at all the photos, I thank god each and every day for introducing me to him in my life knowing I had been blessed with having such a great man and wonderful best friend who never bailed out on any plans I would make and was always there for me the most. When I found out Sunday night on August 25, 2013, from a close friend of mine who called and told me the bad news, that he had been pronounced dead after the hospital “pulled the plug” had me speechless and tore half my heart out. I quickly locked myself in my room and fell on my knees; I couldn’t stop crying, yelling, and punishing myself. I got tremendously upset knowing he had passed and I wasn’t able to see him before they had made such a decision so quick. I spent days and nights wondering why he had to leave me, why he couldn’t have stayed a bit longer, and why did the brain tumor had to kill him so soon.

Leo was a fighter and never gave up on hope; his family and all his beloved friends, including myself, all called him Leo the “Lion” since we all were under the impression he had beaten the brain tumor cancer at first but, shortly after we were all surprised when we heard it had come back and surprised him with another terrible and ever worst battle that was too hard for him to try and beat once again the second time around. The tumor had spread all around his brain and drained every last bit of energy he had left in his body, shutting him down slowly and ever more quickly. Sometimes I wonder if I could have been more involved back then with everything that was happening to him and if I could have taken more responsibility and action, would he still have been alive today?

If only he could feel the pain I’m holding deep down inside and see the tears I shatter each and every other day, would he still be there in spirit trying to comfort me and hold me again in his arms? Everyone needs to realize that having or knowing someone who has a brain tumor is in a serious 50/50 predicament of dying or surviving from it and has to be taken into serious consideration as well that even studies from the National Cancer Institute recently posted for 2014 new statistics that show the brain tumor cancer that has now taken the lives of over 14,000 and has also over 24,000 new cases that opened with many people diagnosed with what Leo had and went through. I never would have known I would be in the reckless position I am in today when I lost my whole world. I would want nothing more but, for someone to take action in hopes to find a more reliable or better treatments out there and to help prevent a series of these brain tumors from killing innocent good people who don’t deserve to be taken out of their lives suddenly.

Leo didn’t have the opportunity to experience having his own family, such as the many children he wanted and a wife he had always dreamed of one day having. He will never feel the happiness and success from graduating out of Eastwick College in Hackensack, NJ. It kills me that I’ll have the opportunity of graduating next year from Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ while he won’t have that experience anymore. Leo will never see his three sisters Jennifer, Michelle and Lucy again and see them grow into extraordinary women. He won’t be able to feel the touch from his parents Chicho and Dori. Or have the opportunity to spend time with his beloved grandmothers he was supremely close with Amalia and Terina. Sometimes putting yourself into the shoes of others helps you realize how hard others have it compared to how good you have it. My best friend won’t have another opportunity again now to go back into his own mother’s arms and say “I love you” or “Let’s go for a ride together at the store.”

Leo didn’t deserve to have lived through such chaos and to go through so many million treatments, tests, and appointment check-ups; that didn’t even allowed him to enjoy and experience certain things in life like he had always wanted too. Being he was very strong, courageous, and positive, he always knew how to keep a smile on and move forward. I’m keeping my faith and I know joining the National Brain Tumor Society, I can help make a difference and doing so I believe Leo is watching me continue his fight for justice. I saw and experienced the pain he went through, and not only do I live with my own but, I also am living with his as well. I felt a ton of guilt knowing I could have done something then, but now I am take the full responsibility, honor, and courage to spend from now till the very end making his rightful wish to continue fighting against it. I promised to take action. To help others who have a similar or same diagnoses.

I know he would be proud of me if he was still alive and I would want nothing more but to see him smile once again, feeling his precious touch, or devoted hug. Having seen someone fight so hard and pass away so suddenly is the worst heartache in the world to go feel, and I can’t imagine reliving those horrifying dark days. I would not ever want anyone to see a loved one go through such desperation to have this cancer completely vanish or feel any other pain from sadness or depression. I’m ready to take my stand.

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