By: LuAnn Georgia, WTC STRATCOM with contributions from AW2 Advocate Julio Alicea
Specialist Eddie Romero is a native of Hialeah, Florida and a die-hard fan of the Miami Heat. Romero’s dream came true when he was recently honored on the court by the Home Strong program at Game one of the 2013 Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Home Strong program, which was established by the Miami Heat in 2006, is an ongoing program that pays tribute to the men and women in uniform. It was developed by the Heat team and Coach Pat Riley to assist with the unmet needs of military personnel and their families who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and whom reside in South Florida.
The tribute to honor Specialist Romero was prompted when news got out about his passion for the Florida NBA team, the Miami Heat. Romero, who joined the Florida Army National Guard right out of high school, was deployed to Kuwait in 2010 where he served as a machine gunner for supply convoys into Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2012, while deployed to Germany, he suffered what was thought to be a knee injury but after returning home to Florida for treatment, was informed that he was suffering from Stage four Osteosarcoma, an advanced bone cancer. Romero underwent surgery for the cancer but was told that it had spread to his lungs and there was a 15 percent chance of survival.
These days Romero is undergoing outpatient treatment at the Miami Veterans Administration Hospital and the University of Miami, Sylvester Cancer Center. The treatment is reported to be going well and in June, Romero and his family were given hope when they received the good news that the cancer has gone dormant.
In addition to receiving the welcomed news about his health, Romero’s fiancée recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy. As part of his tribute to the team and player he idolizes, the Romero’s named their newborn son “James” after legendary Heat player Lebron James.
While the future is uncertain, based on his examples, Baby James will grow up with an understanding of the true meaning of being a “winner”. Congratulations to the new parents and may your future be filled with many blessings.