Dr. Heidi Schwarz- Dr. Schwarz earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Rochester where she also completed her residency and a fellowship inmovement inhertited neurological disease. She is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester and specializes in a varietyof neurological disorders with additional expertise in movement disorders including tremors as well as Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.
In 1994, after lengthy testing, Dr. Schwarz diagonsed me with Dementia Pugilistica and Parkinson's syndrome tremors. She then referred me to Dr. Peter B. Norman, a Neuropsychologist, for a second opinion. He confirmed her diagnosis.
I continue to be thankful for the support, time, and care that I have received from Dr. Schwarz and don't know where I would be today and know that I would have not made it to this point without her. I will forever be grateful for her continued efforts and expertise. I still see Dr. Schwarz on a regular basis, where she does a tremndous job of giving me the best quality of life possible. She skillfully makes changes to checkmate the dementia's progression and the tremors from the Parkinson's syndrome.
Carmen Basilio- Carmen Basilio is an inspiration and personal friend to me. Carmen was the Welterweight and Middleweight Champion of the World (1955-57), 1957 Hickok Belt Award recepient, US Marine War Veteran, devout Catholic, and model for American youth.
Carmen was one of the most recognized and respected athletes in the world in the 1950's. Growing up in the 50's and early 60's, I remember there were two athletes WE ALL wanted to emulate; Mickey Mantle and Carmen Basilio----I chose Carmen Basilio.
Carmen inspired me to become a boxer, that all began way back in 1957. I was 6 years old hanging out in my Grandfather's Italian Restaurant on Exchange Street in Geneva, NY. Every Friday night the bar room would be packed with patrons watching the Gillette Friday Night Fights on the 20" Admiral TV above the bar. My father, who was bar tending, would try to get a better picture by adjusting the rabbit ears on top of the TV. The guys would get anxious and yelled to dad "Angelo....hurry up...Carmen Basilio is fighting tonight!" Finally dad got the picture adjusted and I watched as the crowd in the bar room roared with every punch Carmen threw. The only time it got quiet was when the Gillette Razor and Schultz & Dooley Beer commercials came on between rounds. That night made such an impression on me. After the fight, I ran to the back room, filled up a laundry bag with linens and started using it as a punching bag. My Grandmother walked in and asked me what I was doing. I told her, "Grandma, I'm Carmen Basilio" and she said, "There's only one Carmen Basilio. Never mind that boxing stuff, you better go to College, now go help your Grandfather in the bar room."
My admiration for Carmen has stayed with me all of these years. In my eyes, he's the greatest fighter "pound for pound" of all time.
On days where my dementia rears it's ugly head and I am scheduled for a speaking engagement, I look to Carmen for the strength and inspiration to get me through the session.
I will always cherish the friendship I have with Carmen and his wonderful wife, Josie.
My Wife, Patti (Theriault) Ciancaglini - I thank God every day for the support of my wife, Patti. She has been by my side through thick and thin and finds ways to deal with my condition. She has sacrificed a great deal but I have never once heard her complain. She has persevered through my paranoia, insomnia, mood changes, forgetfulness and my anxiety and frustrations from not being able to function normally.
Monsignor Franklin M. Kelliher, Roman Catholic Priest - Monsignor Kelliher was a well known retired Roman Catholic Priest in the Buffalo area. He was a big boxing buff and founder of the Buffalo Boys Town (a home for troubled youth; homeless or paroled). I met him in 1968 while training at Singer's Gym in Buffalo. Monsignor became a mentor and good friend who kept me grounded, was concerned for my well being and encouraged me. He was a wealth of knowledge and I looked to him often for advice. He was honest and I could count on him to tell me the truth, even if it wasn't something I wanted to hear. He nicknamed me, the Paladin Kid after a popular 1960's TV Western Show, "Have Gun, Will Travel". The main character, Paladin, was a gentleman hired gunman. Monsignor would say I was just like the hired gunman; a gentleman, travelling long distances and taking on any fight even on short notice. The nickname stuck and I quickly became, The Palidan Kid, "Have Glove, Will Travel". I will always be grateful for his friendship and support. He taught me the importance of being a gentleman. That even with the brutality of the sport, there was still the ability to be a kind and considerate person.
New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio - Senator Nozzolio has been a strong advocate for the Finger Lakes Region, representing the 54th Senate District in the New York State Senate. While attending Mynderse Academy in Seneca Falls, he was a standout athlete in football and lacrosse. He also lettered in crew and sprint football at Cornell University. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, and a Master's degree in Public Administration and Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. Senator Nozzolio also earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Syracuse University College of Law. Senator Nozzolio served as a JAG officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves and is currently a Commander in the New York Naval Militia. Senator Nozzolio has been a New York State Senator for the 54th district , since1992. Prior to his election to the New York State Senate, Senator Nozzolio served for 10 years in the New York State Assembly where he was chosen to serve as Deputy Minority Leader. His service and accomplishments to New York State have been impeccable. I have known the Senator for many years and I knew we shared the same passion for the safety and welfare of our youth. I also knew that he would be the man to get the job done. He is co-sponsoring legislation (S.3953) that will require all student athletes to sit out of any athletic activities for a minimum of 24 hours after a concussion, regardless of whether or not they have authorization from a trainer or physician. This law will ensure that no athlete accidentally slips through the cracks into harm's way. I commend Senator Nozzolio for his diligence and hard work and am grateful for his support and friendship.
Dr. Jason Feinberg - Dr. Jason Feinberg, attended Syracuse Health Science Center 1989-1993 with an MD awarded in May 1993; completed Internal Medicine Residency at Naval Hospital Oakland, California 1993-1995 and University of California, San Francisco 1995-1996. During his time at Hobart College, he was a 4 year standout first baseman on the Hobart Baseball Team from 1986-1989. , earning a B.S. in Chemistry, Magna cum Laude; Dr. Feinberg was my general practitioner for six years, when I was going through a very tough time. He worked endlessly with Dr. Schwarz and was always very patient and considerate of my condition. I confided in him more than I would have in most anyone else. He helped to bring me out of seclusion and for that I will be forever grateful to him.