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Remembering Allan Goldberg – Vigilant Young Adult Cancer Advocate Dies At Age 40

Posted Jul 03 2008 12:11pm
Editor: My friend and colleague is gone.

First Descents, a local nonprofit, aims to show young cancer survivors they can live full, happy, confident lives. Allan Goldberg, the group’s executive director, seemed to embody that message to a T.

Goldberg was an Ironman triathlete, a runner, an endurance racer and a Harvard graduate. He also was a cancer survivor by the time he was a teenager.And he spent his career making sure other cancer survivors didn’t let the disease hold them back, either.

Goldberg, 40, of Eagle-Vail, died Sunday of complications related to cancer. He passed away surrounded by his family in Maryland.

At age 12, he was diagnosed with rhabdomyoscarcoma, a cancer of the muscles. Despite a very small survival rate, he beat the disease.

In 2006, weeks after he started the job with First Descents, Goldberg was diagnosed with a different form of cancer. He suspected the aggressive radiation treatment he received as a child caused the disease to return.Goldberg continued to run about 20 miles a week as he underwent chemo.

“He refused to allow cancer to impact the quality of his life any more than it absolutely had to,” said Marc Slatkoff, a local doctor who is a member of the board of directors of First Descents. “He fought the cancer hard and continued to do the things that were important to him, continued to work hard at what he believed in, what we’re doing. And he was passionate about it.”

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