• Football's Unusual Hit Man

    Chuck Cascio

    It is certainly understandable to believe that football's most powerful hitters are massive giants built along the lines of mythical heroes. To a significant degree, that belief is true! I mean, I definitely do not want to be hit by any one of them, and I am sure most fans would agree! However, fans from a certain era will remember a player who countered that physical stereotype but who regularly produced some of the most punishing hits ever. Just 5' 9" and 170 pounds, Pat Fischer drew praise from coaches, teammates, and even opponents for his intelligent, highly physical style of play. 


    Today the 83-year-old Pat Fischer resides in Ashburn, VA, where he was recently voted  “Favorite Local Celebrity” in Ashburn Magazine’s Best of Ashburn 2023. I had the honor of interviewing him along with some of his family members and longtime friends for a feature story that appeared recently in the magazine. Read the feature about this legendary player here, and enjoy remembering that sometimes it takes more than size to make an impact...both on and off the football field!


    Story copyright Ashburn Magazine; all rights reserved.

    Blog copyright: Chuck Cascio; all rights reserved.




    Chuck Cascio


         That morning is etched forever in our memories. 

         The first report: A plane has crashed into a building at the World Trade Center. The immediate reaction: This sad, tragic accident will cost countless lives. 

         And then the second plane hits. Another realization: This is not an accident. This is an attack. This is terrorism inflicted upon innocent people in the airplanes and inside two beautiful buildings that highlight the New York Skyline. 

         And then the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

         How did you react when you heard? What did you say? What were you doing? 

         My sister and her husband, living in TriBeca just blocks away from the smoldering buildings, evacuated their residence and ran uptown amid the swarm of people, the screams, the ashes, the horrified confusion. 


         I was in the midst of opening a meeting of my new team in my Princeton, NJ, office, when the meeting was interrupted by an associate who called me aside and tearfully told me of the plane crashes, of the World Trade Center buildings aflame, of people jumping out of windows in desperate attempts to be "saved."     

         I stopped the meeting. My new team and I went to a room where we watched and gasped in disbelief at the horrors unfolding on television. 

         The unthinkable. The sense of helplessness. The fear I felt about being unable to reach my sister and her husband whose phones were not working, only to find out later that they were safe. I telephoned my wife and other family members just miles from the flaming Pentagon, and heard from others who were concerned about my own safety. 

         Six weeks after the attacks, my wife and I visited the smoldering space in New York where the Towers once stood. Vast emptiness. Soot still drifting. Ash still smothering the streets and shops, small and large alike. 

          Some things we just do not forget. We hope we learn from those things. 

         What did we learn from September 11, 2001? The instinctive search for the safety of family. The horrifying awareness of the innocent death of others. The sense that we must take steps to ensure our own safety, the safety of those we love, and the safety of strangers. We learned that heroism is real. And we know that deep pain still lingers for many people directly affected by that day. 

         So we should consider the lessons of 9/11 as more than memories. We should act upon those lessons whenever we see those memories emerging again in reality, albeit in different forms both large and small. By doing so, our memories emerge as active lessons...lessons that will help bring a positive meaning to that tragic day.


    (Feel free to email me with your thoughts: chuckwrites@yahoo.comIf you would like to submit a blog piece of your for possible publication on “Blog On!” please query me at the same email address. No work that you submit will be posted without your prior approval, and you will retain all copyright ownership. Submission of query and/or submission of a piece for consideration is NOT a guarantee of publication.)

    Copyright: Chuck Cascio; all rights reserved.

  • Save Lives. Provide Hope. Help those impacted by blood cancer.

    (The following was written by my stepdaughter Michele Bresnick Walsh, one of the most courageous and giving individuals I have ever known. Please read her incredible story and consider donating to this cause; doing so can save a life!--Chuck Cascio)

    Save lives. Provide hope. Help those impacted by blood cancer.


    Michele Bresnick Walsh

          I am participating in our 7th Heropalooza (and first virtual one) in honor of Lisa Rostaing, the woman to my left in the picture below. Lisa is a true hero who saved my life by donating her bone marrow to me on March 4, 2009. 


         In October 2008, just three weeks after Mike Walsh proposed to me, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Because of the type of leukemia I had, the doctors at Johns Hopkins knew that chemotherapy alone would not cure my cancer. I needed a bone marrow transplant, and my sister was not a match. So we had to turn to the national bone marrow registry. Luckily, I found a perfect match in Lisa. She had never met me and didn't know anything about me, yet she donated her bone marrow to me and saved my life. I wouldn’t be here today if Lisa, a random stranger from Los Angeles, had not gotten on the bone marrow registry back in 2005 and stepped up to the plate when she received the call to donate her marrow.




         Because of Lisa, I was able to return to work full time, I am happily married, and I have a full head of hair again! Since we met in 2010, we have had the opportunity to go on vacation in the Bahamas together, attend a taping of the Ellen Show, and in 2014, I had the honor and privilege of attending her wedding. And, now she has two beautiful children. 


         I have been cancer free for over 11 years now, and in celebration of my 11th re-birthday, I am attempting to raise $11,000 to support There Goes My Hero (www.theregoesmyhero.org), a 501(c)(3) organization of which I am the immediate Past-President, with the mission of saving lives, providing hope and helping those impacted by blood cancer.

         To date, There Goes My Hero has added almost 22,000 people to the bone marrow registry, of which 365 have been potential matches and 42 have gone on to life-saving transplants. We have also funded over 150,000 meals to patients and families in need. And our newly established Hero Fund supports Baltimore area blood cancer patients and their families by covering the unanticipated costs of treatment. This includes meals during treatment, medically tailored meals post-discharge, transportation, parking, and copays.


    Please consider donating to my fundraising efforts. And if you want to help in my fundraising efforts, please see my team page--Team Brez--and join the team. If you are not already on the bone marrow registry, please ask me about how to do so--it's just a simple cheek swab. I am lucky that I found my match, but there are still so many others who can’t find one. Please help us in our mission to find a match for every person who needs one!


         Because of COVID-19, we could not hold the annual race and crab feast event in person. But I still plan to run a 5K in my neighborhood to honor Lisa. Blood cancer doesn’t understand the concept of social distancing, so notwithstanding COVID-19, the need for bone marrow matches continues to grow. 

    Thank you for your support!
    Michele Bresnick Walsh