Jump to content

Article in the Tri County Times

Joe B

Recommended Posts

here's the link


Lung cancer survivor — one year later

Gina and Joe Bono of Tyrone Township will deliver triplets in July. Joe was diagnosed with lung cancer nearly six years ago, and continues regular treatments.

Couple now expecting triplets

By John McKay

Published: Sunday, June 21, 2009 6:16 AM EDT

Tyrone Twp. — Nearly one year ago, Joe and Gina Bono were researching treatment options for Joe's progressing lung cancer, as the couple was profiled in the Tri-County Times. Now, the couple is researching baby clothes and nanny services as they prepare to deliver triplets — all girls — on July 10.

 Joe, who says he never smoked, was diagnosed with lung cancer on Oct. 2, 2003 after a tumor was found on his right lung. This was followed by a brain tumor about the size of an egg, which limited his peripheral vision, contributing to two minor automobile accidents on consecutive days in 2006.

 Since last year's story, Joe has changed his course of treatment.

  "We did some research and I found a clinical trial in Bethesda, Md. at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and weighed my options, and decided to do something less toxic," he said.

 The treatment, an experimental vaccine, consists of radiated, genetically altered lung cancer cells that are re-introduced into the body just under the skin in a series of vaccines.

 "The way in which they genetically alter the cancer cells allows your immune system to recognize and attack them," he said.

  He began the treatments in July, concluding in November. Now he goes back every several months for a CT scan. He said the vaccine has helped achieve a level of stability. While the cancer has not receded, it has not grown, either.

 "So far things have been stable, and I feel great," he said. "I can feel the difference myself in terms of my physical health."

  The triplets came as a surprise for the couple, who knew they were pregnant in December, but did not anticipate a multiple birth. 

 "Gina and I, we were trying for a child, and we were surprised to learn that we had three on the way," Joe said.

 He credits his family's faith for the surprise.

  "Being Christians, we consider this a blessing," he said. "It's what God provided us, and so we're just trying to prepare for these babies and we're excited."

 The Bonos' three older daughters, Miranda, 17, Hannah, 19, and Alyson, 21, look forward to helping care for their younger sisters. Joe and Gina say they will also hire a nanny to help care for the triplets, due to the couple's work schedule, and Joe's cancer treatments. In the meantime, they will rely on family help.

 "You try to prepare as much as you can but part of it is just figuring it out as you go," Joe said of raising the triplets.

  Joe said he wishes he could be more active in local organizations and fundraisers that raise awareness and funds for combating lung cancer, which accounts for almost one-third of all cancer deaths.

 About half of those afflicted with lung cancer have never smoked nor are former smokers, according to statistics furnished by the LUNGevity Foundation, which will hold a fundraiser at 6 p.m. Monday at Joe and Lewie's Penalty Box in Fenton.

 Joe still is not sure what caused his cancer, but he says one possibility may have been a summer job he had while in college, spraying chemical pesticides. He said it also may have stemmed from something viral.

 "The doctors have encouraged me to stop trying to figure it out," he said.

 "What would you do with the answer, anyway?" Gina said. 

  He said he still does not know what the future holds. He will reach six years as a survivor in October. He hopes to be a long-term survivor.

  "We take it day by day, and we trust God," he said. "We don't know what the future holds, but we're just very grateful for every day that we have and it's really drawn this family a lot closer together."

 He said the experience has had its positive effects.

 "It can actually make you appreciate your life a lot more, and your family and those around you."


Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a terrific article, Joe. July is soon here and ya know how we talk about our 'new normals' concerning LC. Believe me - I bet you will reach an entirely new level of 'new normal' once your three little girls are onboard :wink: .

Thanks for mention on NIH in the article. It needs to be out there more in the mainstream as a course of action for folks to follow. I've discovered very few have any idea what it is or how it operates.

Can't wait to see the pics of all 6 girls! Best of luck.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.