February 10, 2023 marks four years since my dad, Richard Holtz, passed away from pancreatic cancer.
My dad was larger than life, running a small business, InfiniSys, and being a national technology leader for multi-family and student housing, boating with his family on the weekends, spending precious time with his first grandson Asher, helping his family and friends with their never-ending tech problems, and giving back to the Jewish community through various roles with Temple Beth-El and the Union for Reform Judaism, among other volunteer efforts. A former volunteer fireman and EMT for more than 20+ years in New York, he was the kind of guy who would do anything for you, no matter how many other things he was tackling at a given time. Here are a few random but favorite memories:
- On my 8th birthday, he took me to get my very first puppy, Sunshine. Ever since then, I took on his love of dogs and became the crazy dog person I am today.
- When I was in middle school, he gave me my first job, organizing his business cards. I earned a nickel for each one I alphabetized and put into a rolodex.
- When I was car shopping a few years ago in DC, I would tell him the cars I liked and he would go to the different dealers in Daytona to test drive those same cars so we could compare notes and he could tell me what he thought.
- He helped me buy my very first condo in DC. While he got to see it being gutted, he never got to see the completely remodeled unit, except through photos.
He was my biggest champion, always supporting me unconditionally. No one should ever have to suffer from this horrific disease, let alone watch their parent suffer from it. Please join me in remembering my dad and all the loved ones we have lost to this disease.
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Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all major cancers, reaching 12% this past year. It was around 8% when my dad was diagnosed in 2018. This deadly disease has stolen our best and our brightest, but it can’t take away our determination.
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