SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It doesn’t get much tougher than Dan Shepard from Clifton Park. He’s a Marine Corps veteran and a cancer survivor who’s doing everything he can to help others.
“Everybody talks about Marine Corps Bootcamp, 13 weeks of hell. And it was tough, don’t get me wrong, but at 18 years old, I was ready for it,” Shepard said. “But at 50 years old, when you hear the three words, ‘you have cancer.’ It’s definitely the hardest three words you’re ever going to hear.”
In 2018, Shepard was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The Albany Stratton VA Medical Center found five cancerous tumors. Right away, the medical team got to work with an aggressive chemotherapy plan, and after several months of tireless chemotherapy treatments, Shepard’s PET scans came up clear a year after diagnosis.
He said that not only did the doctors and nurses save his life, but they went above and beyond to show they cared. Shepard never forgot that, saying, “It was the nurses, they are like angels.” He added, “If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be standing here right now.”
On Monday, Shepard and his wife, Lisa, put on their Fourth Annual Charity Golf Outing with their company, All in 1 Realty, at the Saratoga Lake Golf Course. The fundraiser event raised money for the Albany Stratton VA Oncology Center and the Stratton Inn, which provides temporary housing for vets and their families during treatment.
To date, Dan and Lisa have raised over $60,000 with the help of sponsors and golfers at the event, and it all stays local. News10’s Stephanie Rivas reached out to the Albany Stratton VA, and a spokesperson said they couldn’t be more grateful for vets like Dan.
“We are so very grateful to be able to serve our Veterans and their healthcare needs. We appreciate their sacrifice for our country and their continued service to Veterans and local communities. Without their help, and that of our exceptional volunteers and staff, VA wouldn’t be as successful in leading healthcare as it is,” Peter Potter, Public Affairs Director at Albany Stratton VA.
Throughout the year, the Shepards continue to fundraise and accept donations through their website.