Crab Cake Row: The miracle of Michele Bresnick Walsh and There Goes My Hero in helping #JennStrong survive two leukemia battles

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Nestor thanks one his favorite miracle people, Michele Bresnick Walsh and There Goes My Hero, for helping #JennStrong through her leukemia battles. Quite a story here in this friendship over the last decade.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

leukemia, wife, transplant, people, day, match, registry, years, eric, michelle, hero, baltimore, met, donor, chemo, blood, cancer, happen, diagnosed, family

SPEAKERS

Michelle Bresnick Walsh, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back. We are wn st Towson, Baltimore. Baltimore positive. I just wanted to share scare Michelle President Walsh here. Just jumped on the camera. You jumped out of the camera. I think we’re at fadeless is when the old Lexington market we thought we were going to be in the new Lexington market. I thought I’d be standing but I’m sitting but she shorts I moved the camera down so it’s great. We’re doing a cup of soup or bowl it is crabcake row did radio row for 27 years. The Ravens don’t think that wn st should be in Las Vegas than I think I should be. You’re in Baltimore doing good work. So we’re doing some good work here this week. So brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery 10 times the cash with the top prize $10,000 over somebody here wins. I’ve got lottery tickets to give away all week. For those folks who are coming down and want to donate to the Maryland Food Bank. We accept cash. It is a cup of Super Bowl we give you a cup of Super Bowl if you donate today, your family’s election to market. Tuesday will be a cost this Wednesday will be a Coco’s Thursday we will be at State Fair in Catonsville. And then on Friday at Pappus. We’ll be there from nine until five doing live radio until I get knocked off. I get sick of doing it. People don’t show up. Or it’s 501 on Friday, and I know one thing it’s going to happen on five one a Friday, the ravens are still not going to be in the Super Bowl, and the Oreos are still going to be sold. And for that I am looking forward to going to an Oreo game with full orange regalia with Michelle President Walsh, who is my friend. Unfortunately, you’ve been my friend for 10 years because unfortunate how we met but we met I found a picture. Two pictures of you and me in the day. I found the second one that I don’t know if you know about but the first picture was the jersey Joe Flacco picture. So Michelle, President Walsh is is one of the founders of there goes my hero. They helped save my wife’s life. Michelle was my wife’s coach. We did not know each other. But apparently you had met me before that. Right. So you remember the Joe Flacco? Do you remember taking another picture with me and my wife and our friends in the parking lot at Miami? You’re in a picture with us. Oh, yeah. I remember that. I didn’t know you then. Yeah.

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Michelle Bresnick Walsh  02:10

I think we met up this I think this was after, because I definitely found

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:15

was blonde. No, no, but I I think I met you

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  02:19

guys in New Orleans at the Superbowl and I didn’t know you then. So maybe there was a picture from that. But I definitely knew when we were in Miami.

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:25

I met you on opening day. April of 2014. My wife was diagnosed March 2014. But then when I met you, you’re like, I gotta picture you and Joe Flacco. And I’m like, and they’re damn if you don’t meet me, Flacco was had his hair shaved. And he did the jersey Joe. thing. It was at the Goodwill, one of our great sponsors Halloween, and

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  02:50

I was sneaky. So you’re the one who took the picture of me and Joe, because I

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:54

was with you and me and Joe, that it’s just you and maybe you do

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  02:57

but you sent me the picture. So that’s how we met. you emailed it to me. I just gave you my business card. And you’re like, here’s this picture. And then years later, we met

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Nestor J. Aparicio  03:04

her me and Joe, but maybe I saw you know, Joe’s doing all right. Yeah, I was pretty happy. He came on a couple of weeks ago. He was great. And I took that how are you? What’s going on doing really well thank you. I don’t want them to friend you out or their goes might hear you out or leukemia you out or cancer. I was a lawyer sports, we can do anything. But I’m glad you’re here and the basis of all of this. I mean, you met me in the worst circumstance ever in the hospital, my wife’s bed, hospital room. She just had this awful procedure on her spine where they basically stick a needle into your bone. I still can’t get over. She said to me last night, I was at yoga, I still can’t lay on my back flat. And I’m like I saw what you went through. So we went through the tough times and you were the coach of all this but I still have a hard time getting myself around you being sick, because I don’t remember you when you were sick. Yeah, you don’t know me. You don’t I know you don’t want to talk about but you have to talk about it. Because we’re going to promote there goes my hero. But tell me about your story other than just being my friend to being a cool lawyer who lives here. You’re not even from here.

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  04:05

No. Been to transplant. 27 years now. almost 2727 years. 27 years in September. We’ll have moved here. Wow. Okay.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:14

All right. Long Island, right as I remember it. Now, where are you from?

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  04:18

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I mean, I was an Army brat. But I grew up in Northern Virginia restaurant, I think of you

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:22

as a project. Well, Brock yet. So we see you’re from Allman. And he went all he knows you, Virginia. We all stick together. Ooh, all that stuff, right? Yeah. I’m

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  04:31

a little older than him. But I thought you were from New York for some reason. But okay, my family’s from New Jersey. And I speak quickly, so well. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:38

thought you were in New York. Okay. All right. So your jersey same thing? Yeah. Don’t tell Springsteen that or Bon Jovi, but nonetheless. So you were in Baltimore when this happened?

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Michelle Bresnick Walsh  04:47

Yep. I had a sinus infection all summer. Nothing was working for years this this is a late summer of oh eight. And no matter what they gave me I just could not get rid of the sinus infection. And then at one point I went to go Oh see my just Auntie doctor at Mercy. And he’s Why don’t you come in? Maybe you’re anemic. And by the time I got to his office, I was white as a ghost. And so they admitted me to the ER. And it turns out I was down like three pints of blood. So are you 37 about to turn 38? Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:16

my wife was 41 when she was diagnosed, okay, so I’m just trying to 37 years walking the planet, you walk in there like you got leukemia. I know that day. And your fight, not unlike Jen’s fight, or your partner, Eric sour in survival. And the only thing that matters at that moment is literally survival.

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  05:36

Right? So, yeah, my husband had proposed to me on October 1, so we’re planning a wedding. And I had been having some bloodwork monitored, but then they they saw something they didn’t like, so they said, We should refer you to Hopkins, you know, we think we want to see what this is. So I thought it was just going in for a console, October 23. And there’s like, No, you have leukemia, you’re gonna be here for a while we’re finding your bed. They didn’t send you home. start chemo tonight.

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:00

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But my wife went and they said, they said put a mask on and pack an overnight bag. My wife packed an overnight bag, she spent 44 nights there, she didn’t need to go for 44 days. So an overnight bag led to a suitcase and led to just where we are. I mean, I’m pretty convinced I’m sitting here right now. Because that happened, right? It changes your life a profound way. And finding these stories. And there goes my hero. People have heard me talk about there goes my hero million times, there goes my hero.org We’ve done i i counted down our 25 stories of glory as part of our 25th anniversary. And the Gen strong movement finished in the top 10. But we went out and did a whole save my wife’s life routine 10 years ago, if you’re not a part of the original part of this, but a lot of was inspired by you when in the days after my wife was diagnosed March 20. From the 20th to the 27th. I took on 1000s of emails. And about a dozen people in my real world said you need to meet this guy named Eric sour. And I’m like, I don’t need to meet anybody right now. I need to figure out what’s going on here. My work my job, my career, my business, my wife or life. What are we doing? I have a radio station. I got to keep it going. I had employees that were less than desirable at that moment. I knew that I put myself back on the air. And then you show up at the hospital? Because I asked I

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  07:28

think I messaged you on Facebook, just random out of the blue. I didn’t know Jim, I knew who you were. I said, Hey, I went through this, let me know if you need anything. And it took you a while because you know, obviously you were going through stuff. But you said I would love to talk. So that’s why I wouldn’t have just shown up but I was

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:42

trying to get information because like we talked about this earlier today, and I’ll be talking about it all week. But you know, Doctor says Your wife has leukemia. I mean, how leukemia was I didn’t let alone some sarcoma, some Bill McCarthy, me but other people here talking about what their loved ones went through. And and that day you’re diagnosed you don’t even how would you know what leukemia is? Right? Like, I mean, other than Brian Piccolo, and you know, Brian song or something I see on TV. I mean, I found stuff at the radio station that I did for LLS way before genic. I mean, I went out and hosted events did things and I didn’t even know what leukemia was that it was solvable. I certainly when they said you had leukemia, I thought she’s gonna die. Because I that’s was my childhood Association. To everybody. Yeah, if you got cancer, you died in 1980. Like, right. I mean, that’s kind of the way it was. It’s not that way anymore. Right. And did you know that I mean, you’re really smart. You went to college and your lawyer and when they said you had leukemia, did you immediately know it could be solved?

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  08:45

Well, I mean, that’s, uh, you know, I have a lot of cancer running rampant in my family. But that was not one that I was expecting at all. I mean, breast cancer rooms and like family, you know, lots of different health forms. But leukemia was out of the blue particularly for I was in pretty healthy shape. 37 year old woman that and you know, no, I didn’t know you know, they said, You have leukemia. We’re starting chemo tonight. I didn’t know what that meant. But then it turned out that you know, some people can be cured by chemo. But you know, Jen, me, Eric, we all had different things where they knew that no matter how many times we did chemo was going to come back unless we have a transplant. So that’s, you know, where we had to start hit a bone marrow registry. My sister wasn’t a match at all. When

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Nestor J. Aparicio  09:23

I say bone marrow transplant, which came about day three, day one was you have leukemia, we don’t know what it is. We’ll get back to you. Do you have brothers and sisters? Right? That’s where day three it was. You need a bone marrow transplant. And all I could see and I don’t mean to be graphic, but I mean, I’m being honest, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. All I could see was they’re gonna cut her open and transplant. I didn’t know what a bone marrow transplant was. To this day. I still see people and I try to explain to them and I’m terrible explaining it like from more genetic standpoint or from a scientific standpoint, because I’m not a scientist. How would you explain it to, you know, bone marrow transplant for dummies? I guess, you know, to explain to the people. Yeah,

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  10:11

well, I think they actually probably need a better word to use because you have transplant you think they’re taking your kidneys and so on you and a half. And then I mean, the term transplant, but it’s really, they take a look at like a bag, it looks like Yeah, I mean, it looks like a bag of blood, and they just put it into you and into, you know, into your IV. So I think they’d be better if they used a different term than transplant. My

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:29

mentor Snyder, my wife’s bone marrow transplant the first one because she had to the first one we I played out, John, you know, and someone saved my life tonight. And literally, the bag of blood came and it’s how we knew the man who saved her life was from Germany, because somehow, some way the bag of blood had some markings on it, in regard to where it came from, where the shipment was coming from. And it was in the middle of the World Cup. being played in your home state now that I realize your jersey personally not long I for some reason, I thought you were long. I stand corrected. 10 years later, but that night, the bag of blood came in and we went on this journey that, you know, I say to people, hmm, went to visit kneels in November, and they ran around and went to the football game together. And they’re like, Oh, is that the guy that saved her life? I’m like, yeah, they’re genetic twins. And they? I said, yeah, if they have the same blood, like, if he they’re, they’re twins, and the notion of all that and their closeness, if people say she knows him, you and your donor have a longer history together now, right? I mean, you Yeah. Beautiful woman out in California. Yeah,

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  11:39

we the transplant was March of oh nine. And you know, you have you can put in a request, like yes, I’d like to meet my donor after a year. And I never heard anything back. But then a friend of mine happened to be on the board of an organization that collects bone marrow, you know, to, you know, to find matches, and he said, Hey, how would you like to come to this event where we’re introducing donors and recipients are, so that’d be great. And then four days before the event? He’s like, Oh, I noticed I found you in our registry. How would you like to meet your donor? So they flew her? She was just in New York, she flew back to California, and they flew her and we got to meet. So yeah, we we’ve been on a vacation together. We I went to her wedding, my husband and I went out to visit her. She’s actually currently living in Canada, but they’re moving her husband’s from Canada, but they’re moving

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:22

to Neil’s his wedding and the plague got in the way. Yeah.

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  12:26

Yeah. But um, yeah. And it’s like, it’s like you said, our genetic markers. We have like 10 out of 10, perfect genetic match. There’s like markers called alleles. And for insulin, what is that? I don’t know that. They’re called alleles. And we had 10 out of 10 Perfect allele matches on our genetic marker. So my blood sister 100% blood sister was, wasn’t even a 25% match was a 0% match for me. But this woman, total stranger, she and I genetically are like identical twins. And we do kind of have people say we look alike a little bit. So it’s crazy. So she has she just looks like Jen. They look like Yeah, so I mean, somewhere probably in the genetic code. When

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:01

I mentioned I say, you know, whatever. She said, Well, my mother is Polish and my dad’s Scottish. And I’m like, of descent. Right? And I’m like, are British descent right from from the UK. And Niels is in Germany. And he’s like, everybody I know is German. You don’t really know what kind of a mug you are. Right? And so I’m getting closer and closer to wanting to take like that. 24 and whatever, then 23. I want to I want to figure out like what I am, I don’t really know. Yeah.

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Michelle Bresnick Walsh  13:30

But to me, that’s crazy. So, you know, my hair and my skin are still my old DNA. But my blood is her DNA. So I have two different sets of DNA now. Really, actually two? Probably yeah, that because my blood type used to be a positive enamel positive.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:45

Well, her her blood type was be positive. So that was how the Baltimore positive movement happened. Because my wife was be positive. And the man who saved your life was be positive to she did not change blood types. Yeah. So but she’s doing well people ask my wife all the time, how you doing? How you doing? How much of your life is defined by your leukemia and people knowing you and coming up and saying you’re still okay, are they because I didn’t know you when you were sick? I just know you as sort of this saintly person who came and saved my wife’s life and helped her out and tried to get her to be comfortable at a time when you were the only resource you and Erica the only resources she had to say what, what f is going to happen next. What’s the next awful thing that’s going to happen to me while I’m trying to have my life see because every all if i i try to block it out and I’m sure you do too. I mean, when it comes to Jana, we don’t talk about it ever. We don’t go there we don’t discuss it in dark times. Good times. She’s code silent about it. Probably not healthy for her but very, very 10 years later, it only comes up when people say house Janiszewski because they’re all they all saw her go through You know, and I’m thinking that probably gets old for you, you know, people don’t cope when asked about my finger being cut off every day, because I don’t want to think about it and but they bring it up, you know, traumas funny like that and how you thrive in the aftermath of that and how you and I know this for my wife, my wife’s 10 years removed, she’s got a clean bill, she doesn’t even go to the cancer center anymore. She has side effects, but she’s not of their concern anymore. So, fans, listeners, family, they all come to music. Is she okay? She could. She’s fine today. And we don’t think about it. And we’d like to keep it they’d like, Yeah, where are you?

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  15:36

Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t bother me to talk about it. It is part of my story. You know, I get feel like, you know, because of the strength I had to pull up to go through it, that it is part of me. And also it’s part of their because my hero and sharing my story is getting more people aware of their lives. My heroes. So you know, you mentioned Eric’s, our, he and his wife and a friend of mine work together, you know, small to more. And they both happen to be talking about, oh, my friend has leukemia, my husband has leukemia. So he actually came down he was he’d already gone through his chemotherapy, and he was waiting for his transplant. I was just starting my chemo. He just comes in and says Hi, and random guy comes in. And he was just so calming to me and my family because we hadn’t found a match yet. We didn’t know what was going on. And he was like he did for you what you did from exactly, it’s, you know, paying it forward.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:20

I’m learning okay.

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  16:21

Yeah. So when he, you know, but when both of us sort of came out on the other side, we had her transplants, we were doing better. He asked if I would, he wanted to start this foundation. So we started it. And the goal originally was just sort of both of us were very fortunate. We had very strong support systems, family, friends, insurance, insurance. Exactly. I you know, I disability insurance, you know, so I wasn’t financially hurt. But so many people, you know, were like, what, what do people do when they get cancer? So we were trying to find ways, like, you know, we both had people that were bringing us meals all the time. So we were trying to find a way to deliver meals. But the really thing we really wanted to do was get as many people on the registry as possible. You know, we don’t we don’t we’d never want to hear a story of somebody who died because they couldn’t find a match. And so we were really that’s what we’re that was our focus of forming the organization when he asked me what I joined with him. So we did and we came together. And so we’ve got different components of there goes my hero, we’ve got, you know, be a hero, which is get on the registry, if and we also have another side component of that as our color the registry, because we’re really trying to get diverse people on the registry, they have a much harder time finding a match. You know, African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, anyone who’s mixed race has a really hard

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:28

time Taiwanese Tiger Woods is an example. That’s what I would say Tiger Woods, being of Asian and Black African descent. Really difficult.

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  17:37

Exactly. So we’re and so you know, we’ll go to different events where we’ll swap people but what we’re really doing a lot of now is corporate swabbing we’ll go into corporations say, Hey, would you love your employees to get swab? And so we’ve been doing those types. And that’s been getting a lot of success, just getting more and more people on the registry. So yeah, Eric, Eric and I are very close. We’ve been run into both of us are out there telling our stories and explaining why, why there is my heroes so important, because we really just want to, we never want anyone to not be able to find a match. We also have partnered with the Hackerman Patz, which is where people can stay at Johns Hopkins when they’re from out of town. So we partner with different organizations, and we’ll cook meals for the people, the patients there.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  18:16

In the Hope Lodge earlier today, similar Yeah, and there’s just so much good work being done out there. And that’s why I dedicated this week, you know, I’m not going to be out in Las Vegas talking about football. And when I was talking football, everybody would come by they wouldn’t have a cause they wouldn’t have a story they would all want to do something good to make the world a better place. The reason they’re they’re promoting stuff, right? So I figured this would be a way to do this. How’s Eric doing? I haven’t seen him in a while

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  18:41

he’s doing well and we haven’t seen each other for a while we have a board meeting so we were on screen but we we’ve been meaning to get really out there doing well. You know, when when Eric was diagnosed, his wife was like nine and a half months pregnant like ready to give birth. So and they lived up in Bel Air so she was coming down every day pregnant also with like a five year old. You know, I didn’t have to deal with that stuff. I just had a fiance to deal with. So you know, it was really taxing on them. And he’s doing really well his his son who was five at the time is in college now and Joey you know who was born in oh nine. He’s, uh, in high school so it’s great to

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:13

fish in with a little one a couple years ago. We did some fly last time I saw Eric we went fly fishing two summers ago with Dan Rodricks. Okay, Dan took us out fly fishing out Williams port Mayor Luke, Maryland, believe it or not way out the skinny little part in the upper northern Potomac River. Something something I didn’t catch anything. Caught some fresh air. It’s a good day. Michelle. President Walsh is here talking about what you do in the real world. You’re like a big shot lawyer and you do things and you know like help people basically right now

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  19:42

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I’m I’m a corporate attorney at Gordon feinblatt I Tara corporate and securities practice group so I work with business owners and their companies and keep them out of trouble.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:51

All right, what I’m going to keep you for a segment alright, because I have Karen here from the grace and hope mission. It’s got the it’s the best sign In the city, I’ve often wondered what what happened there. And she got referred to the show today through some other folks. So this is going to be good because I make that left on gays to Gay Street, right? Is that did say, see? Yeah, I did a little. It’s got this sign that reminds me of Guys and Dolls. You know what I mean? It looks like, like, Nathan Detroit like all that. And every time I’ve gone by I’m like, Man, that sign speaks to me. I wonder what that is? Well, I’m going to find out. I can’t wait to hear you know, 32 years on radio and I’m still learning stuff. Michelle, President Walsh is here. There goes my hero.org is the way you’re not on the registry. Get on the registry if you could save a life save a life. And more than that they do cool stuff with like booze and fun and things you can buy tickets to what’s next thing coming up? What do we got happen with your hero Palooza happening soon? Let’s

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  20:53

see in the fall. We have some carding event where you can get teams to do go karting. So will there’ll be more information about that

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:00

go karting and tickets. Laurel, would you hit me in the you wanna hurt my back with the bumper cars? Would you know

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Michelle Bresnick Walsh  21:06

now now bumper cars? Is this? Fair? Yeah. Yeah. Jen,

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:10

Jen, Jen will do that. I mean, she’s she’s speedy. I’m not. I slow down. I use the break. I drive in the right lane. Well, safety first, Michelle present while she’s here, we’ll take a break. Again, there’s my hero. I’ve done so much. And it sometimes I feel like I’ve talked about that. I’ve talked about them. And now we can need to keep talking about it and keep it out in front of people. Because every time somebody comes up and ask me about my wife, I’m like, Well, you can do something about it. You can you can participate in a small way or a big way. Come to a party, buy something or get the cute tips in your mouth get yourself swab if you’re under 40 by for sure. If you’re young enough, please do it. It’s fundamental. It’s why she’s alive. It’s what Eric’s alive. It’s what my wife’s alive. And it’s important. Yeah,

Michelle Bresnick Walsh  21:57

now my donor was they were they were shutting down the swabbing booth when she she was like, no, no, no, I want to get on the registry. And five years later, she got the call.

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:05

Look at you. Yeah. All right. Well, we’re gonna party together Mako this summer. Michelle’s gonna stay another segment. This is a cup of Super Bowl is crabcake row where it fails at Lexington market the original Lexington market. The new Lexington markets there but the failures is just getting there be there in a couple of weeks. I think by St. Patrick’s Day I thought it was going to be there by today but it’s not. We’re here in the original location. So you still get enjoy here we had the mac and cheese here. If not, I’m gonna get us crabcake it’s lunchtime. I got it. I take a break. I’m Nestor we are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore. We’re gonna come back continue to do this so brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery when donation and Jiffy Lube am wise markets. Have an old share your crabcake row and Baltimore positive stay with us

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