SCRANTON, Pa. -- A Scranton police officer and a teacher in the Riverside School District found themselves connecting over something most people hope to never endure -- a cancer diagnosis.
As a Scranton Police officer and a member of the department's special operations group, Chris Hallock knew he had signed up for a dangerous job, one that might put his life at risk.
"Another interview I did, they asked if being a police officer prepared me for this. And I actually laughed at that question," Hallock said. "There's nothing that can prepare you for this."
"Shots fired, man down." Those were phrases on Hallock's radar. "You have cancer," wasn't one of them.
"You hear about it, and you know we would attend benefits, and I would run 5Ks for people, and you just never imagined it would be you that they'd be telling that you have cancer."
Chris was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. A cop in his mid-30s, who works out for two hours a day, and runs 5Ks, was now having trouble simply walking up the stairs.
"Everyone looks at you like you're the wounded animal now. And, you know, that's a tough pill to swallow," he said.
That feeling is something Maria Voytko, a teacher in the Riverside School District, is all too familiar with.
"I still feel like I have this big C on my forehead, that's like, I have cancer, and everybody's kind of looking at me like, 'Is she OK now?' and it's, unfortunately, never going to go away, so it's something that you just have to deal with."
Maria was diagnosed with the same type of leukemia when she was just a senior in high school. She and Chris connected through a friend of Chris' wife, Angela.
Although they were diagnosed at vastly different stages of their lives, the pair found that cancer ignores circumstances.
"I'll never forget the first time that Maria broke through to me was she told me just ask me how the cancer stares were going. and, you know, I just, I go, 'OK, she gets it,'" Hallock said.
In February of last year, Hallock received a lifesaving stem cell transplant from his sister. He's now in recovery mode, which means countless doctors' appointments and treatments to make sure his immune system regenerates properly.
Even then, as Maria knows, recovery doesn't stop there.
"Remission does not end the chapter of cancer. It is a lifelong sentence, unfortunately."
A sentence that is much easier to live out with people by your side, especially people who understand what you're going through.
"It brought me hope, you know, seeing, Maria. You know, in talking to her and seeing how she beat it."
But the past two years weren't always full of hope and happiness for Hallock.
"People always say you're so strong, and sometimes I struggle with that because people didn't see behind the scenes."
Chris and Angela gave birth to their first son, Giovanni, now 2, one month before the diagnosis. Some might say that's bad timing, but Hallock calls it a blessing in disguise.
"He gave me something to fight for. You know, I knew I needed to be there, and I wanted to be there for him, and I wanted to set a good example for him that you know if times get tough, you just, you know, keep pushing forward. And, you know, I don't know if I would have been as strong as I was if it wasn't for him," Chris said.
For Chris and Maria, it's no longer about surviving life. It's about celebrating it.
"I am so proud of every single year in my life. I'm 41, and I made it here, and I'm going to make 42 and 82, you know, so I'm never going to lie about my age. People think I'm crazy," Maria said.
"It's living in the honor of people who, unfortunately, didn't make it. It's rubbing into cancer's face that, you know what? Yeah, I'm here. I'm here. You gave me your best shot, and I'm here," Chris said.
Now Chris wants to pay it forward and help others the same way Maria helped him giving public speeches, reaching out on social media, even just chatting with other cancer patients he sees at the hospital when he goes in for treatments. Most importantly, he wants to get his message out there
"Tomorrow's a new day with a new beginning, and you just have to remember that even if this is the worst day of your life, tomorrow could be the best day of your life, but if you don't fight to live till tomorrow, you'll never experience that."
- Croydon mum's urgent appeal for stem cell donors who could save her two-year-old daughter - My London - August 5th, 2020
- Celularity announces the activation of first California Clinical Trial Site following CIRM Grant Award to Advance Treatments for COVID-19 - Yahoo... - August 5th, 2020
- 'Year of Preparations for the Next Fifty Years' will contribute to countrys development process - Emirates 24|7 - August 4th, 2020
- Incyte/Morphosys take on CAR-Ts with $198,000 per year antibody - - pharmaphorum - August 3rd, 2020
- Crowdfunding to the rescue for this cancer patient - Telangana Today - August 3rd, 2020
- Global Multiple Myeloma Treatment Market-Industry Analysis and forecast 2019 2027: By Application, Type, and Region. - Red & Black Student... - August 3rd, 2020
- stem cell doctor - regenexx.com - August 2nd, 2020
- Former SEC Head Coach, AD Hospitalized With COVID-19 - The Spun - August 1st, 2020
- Think You Might Have NMOSD? Diagnosis May Take a While - HealthCentral.com - August 1st, 2020
- Global Cell Therapy Systems Market Projected to Witness a Measurable Downturn; COVID-19 Outbreak Remains a Threat to Growth in the Near Future... - July 31st, 2020
- Crowdfunding to the rescue for this cancer patient - Social News XYZ - July 30th, 2020
- Precision Medicine Achieves Our Goals and Makes Money in Stocks - Banyan Hill Publishing - July 30th, 2020
- Crowdfunding to the rescue for this cancer patient - Daijiworld.com - July 30th, 2020
- Shady Stem Cell Therapies Can Cause tumours, Infections ... - July 30th, 2020
- Digong forgot to mention the cure for Covid-19 The Manila Times - The Manila Times - July 29th, 2020
- Shady Stem Cell Therapies Can Cause Tumors, Infections, and Death, Doctors Report - Gizmodo - July 29th, 2020
- R3 Stem Cell International Now Offering Four Joint Injections for Only $3950 in Mexico - Yahoo Finance - July 29th, 2020
- UAE's first bone marrow transplant patient tells of life-saving treatment - The National - July 29th, 2020
- From cancer through Covid, how one mother retained hope - Buffalo News - July 29th, 2020
- Mum whose husband died of coronavirus shares heartbreaking video of one-year-old son saying Dada as his fir - The Irish Sun - July 27th, 2020
- Scientists discover why coronavirus patients lose sense of smell and offer hope to those who havent got it - The Scottish Sun - July 27th, 2020
- Fair Haven Foundation provides a refuge in the storm - WRTV Indianapolis - July 27th, 2020
- 'Healthy' mum diagnosed with cancer so aggressive it cracked several ribs - Mirror Online - July 26th, 2020
- AIIMS Delhi Indias best medical college thats home to many leaders of Covid battle - ThePrint - July 26th, 2020
- Cancer struck Welsh mum so aggressively it cracked her ribs and damaged her spine - North Wales Live - July 25th, 2020
- 12 Incredible inventions to make you feel Proudly South African - The South African - July 25th, 2020
- Mum had tumour so big it cracked her ribs - Wales Online - July 25th, 2020
- Two people receive helping hand from Centre to get their advanced treatment in Delhi amid COVID-19 lockdown - Yahoo India News - July 24th, 2020
- First Edition: July 24, 2020 - Kaiser Health News - July 24th, 2020
- Shifting the focus in healthcare to primordial prevention - ETHealthworld.com - July 24th, 2020
- 'We are worried for what lies ahead' say Harrow parents in donor plea for son, 4 - My London - July 23rd, 2020
- A brief history of racism in healthcare - World Economic Forum - July 23rd, 2020
- Two Cases Of West Nile Virus Confirmed In Greece Greek City Times - GreekCityTimes.com - July 22nd, 2020
- Greek Scientists Concerned By The "orphan" Covid-19 Cases - GreekCityTimes.com - July 22nd, 2020
- Greek Sailors Trapped In The Middle Of The Ocean For Months Due To Coronavirus - GreekCityTimes.com - July 22nd, 2020
- The Latest: At a Texas federal prison, more than 500 women test positive for virus - Press Herald - July 21st, 2020
- 3 Ways Predictive Analytics is Advancing the Healthcare Industry - HealthITAnalytics.com - July 21st, 2020
- Hypoxia Market 2020 How the Market has witnessed Substantial Growth in Recent Years? - Cole of Duty - July 21st, 2020
- Short-staffed healthcare system to get 2,000 new nurses, 400 more doctors - The Times of Israel - July 20th, 2020
- Cancer-surviving singer gives back to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society | Artists of the Island - silive.com - July 19th, 2020
- Artificial Blood Market Excellent Growth 2024 | also understand the impact of COVID-19 situation across the globe - 3rd Watch News - July 18th, 2020
- Felipe Massa gives rare insight into Michael Schumachers condition and recovery - Mirror Online - July 18th, 2020
- The International Space Station creates bigger, colder states of matter than are possible on Earth - Massive Science - July 17th, 2020
- Out-of-Pocket Costs Often Higher Than Expected for Patients with Cancer Participating on Clinical Trials - Curetoday.com - July 17th, 2020
- Biotechnology Reagents Market To Witness Massive Growth Worldwide | Global Players Abbott, Agilent Technologies Inc., Danaher, Bd, Bio-Rad... - July 17th, 2020
- Fear, Courage, Grit: Meet More Than 50 'Hospital Heroes' - WTOP - July 17th, 2020
- Why is this nebula shaped like a butterfly? - Massive Science - July 16th, 2020
- Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma Alcl Therapeutics Market is Set to Experience Revolutionary Growth by 2026 - Cole of Duty - July 16th, 2020
- 'I don't have much time. I need a miracle' why stem cell donors are urgently needed - The Times - July 15th, 2020
- With rise in Covid cases, Surat to add 1,570 beds in 2 hospitals - The Indian Express - July 15th, 2020
- It's past time to treat international students as more than just money makers for universities - Massive Science - July 15th, 2020
- Scientists have made an important discovery for the treatment of male infertility - The Saxon - July 14th, 2020
- Tummy Ache Turns Out To Be Cancer, ER Visit During Pandemic Was Critical Decision - CBS Denver - July 14th, 2020
- One common infection could kill our baby girl but one simple act could change her life forever - The Sun - July 14th, 2020
- Top 10 Most Popular Stem Cell Treatments of 2020 - July 13th, 2020
- Coronavirus updates: California to release 8,000 inmates; masks 'only way' to prevent another shutdown, Texas Gov. says - Times Record News - July 13th, 2020
- Actor Nick Cordero Has Died from COVID-19 Complications After 13 Weeks in the Hospital - Yahoo India News - July 12th, 2020
- Ryan Anthony: A local trumpet prodigy who went on to play big stages and raise funds for cancer research - The San Diego Union-Tribune - July 11th, 2020
- The 'Teeter-Totter' of Blood Draws - Curetoday.com - July 11th, 2020
- In the middle of pandemic, this young mom fights second cancer diagnosis - Omaha World-Herald - July 11th, 2020
- R3 International Now Offering Stem Cell Therapy Program for Crohns Disease, IBD and Ulcerative Colitis - PR Web - July 10th, 2020
- Eucalyptus necklace and other unproven Covid-19 cures raise alarm in Indonesia - The Star Online - July 10th, 2020
- Surat: Engineer falls to death from tenth floor of under construction Covid hospital - The Indian Express - July 10th, 2020
- Tribute to Andra Campbell after five-year cancer battle | Romsey Advertiser - Romsey Advertiser - July 10th, 2020
- IML conducts the 5th National Convention on Medicine and Law - ETHealthworld.com - July 10th, 2020
- R3 International Now Offering Stem Cell Therapy Program for Crohns Disease, IBD and Ulcerative Colitis - Benzinga - July 9th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market : Global Forecast over 2025 Cole of Duty - Cole of Duty - July 9th, 2020
- Whatever happened to baby Owen? - The Herald-News - July 9th, 2020
- University of Miami Miller School-led technology paves way for islet regeneration in human pancreas - Newswise - July 9th, 2020
- Here's Why Mesoblast Stock Rose Over 18% Today - The Motley Fool - July 9th, 2020
- Eucalyptus necklace and other unproven Covid-19 cures raise alarm in Indonesia - The Straits Times - July 9th, 2020
- Global Organ Preservation Market Future Demand (COVID 19 Impact Analysis) & Growth Analysis with Forecast up to 2027 - Cole of Duty - July 9th, 2020
- First time ever successful operation with a single-use endoscope on immunodepressed child - Emergency-Live - July 4th, 2020
- College Kids Are Apparently Playing a Game Where They Try to Catch COVID - Futurism - July 3rd, 2020
- A Shot of This Gene Editing Serum Appears to Prevent Heart Disease in Monkeys - Futurism - July 3rd, 2020
- Katharine McPhee reveals frustrations with husband David Foster in new documentary - Wonderwall - July 3rd, 2020
- Jada Pinkett Smith denies August Alsina's claim they had years-long relationship with Will Smith's blessing - Wonderwall - July 3rd, 2020
- Global Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Treatment Market Projected to Witness a Measurable Downturn; COVID-19 Outbreak Remains a Threat to Growth in the... - July 3rd, 2020
- Its not just the lungs: COVID-19 can affect the brain and heart of those infected, researchers say - WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee - July 2nd, 2020
- Inequality in COVID-19 Has Other Dangerous Consequences - Fox and Hounds Daily - July 2nd, 2020