A Commitment to Cancer Patients

Michael J. Tenaglia
1953 - 2002

"It takes a single idea and a commitment to action to move the world. As long as you have that, you can do virtually anything."

Michael J. Tenaglia, former Senior Vice President for UBS PaineWebber, was an inspiring man with an unwavering commitment and dedication to helping cancer patients. In 1998, he was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of esophageal cancer. He was given a 1 to 5% chance to live. At that moment, Michael decided that his life was to be defined not by what happened to him, but by how he reacted to this challenge. With his characteristic energy and optimism, he made his battle a battle on behalf of others fighting cancer.

"I made a deal with God that if he got me through this, I would do something to make a difference," Tenaglia once said. In 1999, after undergoing aggressive chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, Tenaglia with his wife Patti, laid the groundwork for The MIRACLE (Making In Roads Against Cancers Lasting Effects) Foundation.

Although the odds for winning his battle with cancer were stacked heavily against him, Michael never lost his optimism and desire to live. "I know what the doctors say," he once said. "But this disease has never met someone like me." Michael challenged himself and his doctors to pursue the most innovative and aggressive treatments available, including some treatments still in lab trials.

Michael provided the vision and drive that moved the Foundation from an idea to a vibrant reality.

At the age of 49, Michael Tenaglia lost his valiant fight against cancer. His legacy lives on through his children, the many lives he impacted and the accomplishments of The Miracle Foundation.