The emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis can turn someone’s world upside down. Immediate thoughts and questions of “How long do I have left to live?” “What caused this?” and “Why me?” rush through the head of newly diagnosed patients. Cancer is a devastating and debilitating disease millions of people fight every day. Some people let this illness negatively consume their lives, but not Seth Grumet.
Grumet, a successful business owner, loving husband and caring father, lives in Marlboro with his wife, Margie, and three children. Seth refers to himself as an Ironman. He spent six months training for his second Ironman Triathlon, which consisted of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile run.
It was not difficult to see that Seth was in pretty perfect shape, until one Friday when he was on a 100-mile bike ride and feeling he could not keep up with the other members in training, due to shortness of breath.
Falling behind the group was unlike Seth because he was usually the one leading the pack. Seth’s physician diagnosed him with allergies and handed him an inhaler. Things got progressively worse, so he decided to see a pulmonologist who ordered a CT Scan that confirmed Seth had a tumor about the size of his fist in his chest.
After Seth’s second biopsy in May 2010, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Seth has gone through several bone marrow biopsies, several lung biopsies, PET scans, heart scans, pulmonary function tests, countless blood tests, chemotherapy and two stem cell transplants.
Throughout his battle, Seth was fortunate enough to have family members and friends support him and his family during this tough time, however, not everyone fighting cancer was as lucky as he was.
Throughout his chemotherapy process, Seth met many cancer patients who could not get a ride to their treatment, some patients could not afford to pay their bills, while others had to take care of their family at home while fighting their battle.
Due to Seth’s generous nature, positive energy and kind heart, he could not just sit back and watch people struggle … he wanted to help. Seth quickly became motivated to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients who needed help and he created a charitable organization called STOMP The Monster.
STOMP the Monster was founded in 2011 and provides financial and other support to cancer patients, their families and caregivers when they need it most — during their fight with the disease. Some of the ways STOMP the Monster helps is by providing gift cards for gas and groceries, arranging taxi transportation to and from appointments, providing financial assistance for medication needs, rent, utilities, insurance and childcare.
To raise money, STOMP the Monster holds an annual 5K run and festival, a golf outing, and a Life is Sweet gala.
Despite the challenges involved in starting a charity, Seth was never deterred because of his drive and desire to help others.
Since STOMP the Monster was created, the organization has only continued to thrive, grow and prosper. To date, they have given out $1.1 million in grants and helped over 2,300 families.
Seth is a believer, a giver and a fighter. He always does what he can to spin everything in a positive direction for the benefit of others. He knew he needed to help those in need — even if it meant he would be stomping his own monster right along with them.
It has been two years since Seth’s last transplant and he is currently in remission. Through his dedication, generosity and upbeat attitude, Seth continues to help cancer patients who are not as fortunate as he was during their battle with the disease.
He lives by the motto “Always give more than you receive. It will make our community better; giving, whether it is time, money or resources, does not matter — just give.” And that is exactly what Seth continues to do each and every day. For more information about STOMP the Monster, visit www.stompthemonster.org
The author of this article, Brianna Preziosi of Marlboro, is a senior at West Chester University, West Chester, Pa., majoring in communication studies with a minor in iournalism. She wrote this article as part of her journalism practicum course.