Dear friends, it is with the heaviest of hearts that I share with you the news of the passing of my dear brother Bruce.
Bruce fought the most courageous battle against cholangiocarcinoma over the past 3.5 years, after being originally told that he would only have 4-6 months. He was a beacon for many fighting this terrible disease. Bruce's cancer was diagnosed after a routine physical in 2009. He did not shy away from the battle and used the setback to help raise a half-million dollars for the Raizman-Haney Endowed Fund to finance liver cancer research. This fund will be used to teach and train surgeons to work with bile duct cancer.
Bruce went peacefully January 17th, 2013, not in pain and at home. Bruce was a brilliant meteor blazing across the sky - flashing with beautiful and amazing light, but gone too soon. Our hearts are heavy with grief...but filled also with gratitude that he is home and safe.
Beloved husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend, died peacefully on Thursday, January 17th, 2013, at age 56, after a valiant and courageous battle against cholangiocarcinoma. Bruce will be remembered as a generous and caring friend, sage advisor, and courageous soul. Bruce is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 32 years, Andrea; devoted daughters Sara and Mackenzie; loving parents, Jane and Ed Haney; brother Brian Haney (Charlie Buscemi); sisters Janet Haney and Patti (Dale) DiSanto; Mother-In-Law, Bettie Gillot; Sister-in-Laws: Bonnie (Paul) Killian, Tina (Frank) Gill, Donna Gillot, Beverly Gillot, Maria (Scott) Werner; Brother-in-Laws: Dominic (Angela) Gillot, Tom Gillot, Jim (Melanie) Gillot; 24 nieces and nephews; Cousins and many dear friends.
For the past 10 years, Bruce served as Managing Partner for ECHO Realty's development function. Prior to working for ECHO, Bruce served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of iGate Capital Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of FORE Systems, and President and Co-Founder of the Gustine Company, a commercial real estate development firm based in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to founding the Gustine Company, Bruce worked for Arthur Andersen, LLP. Bruce earned his master's degree in taxation from DePaul University, a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and was a Certified Public Accountant.
Bruce believed in giving back and cared deeply for his wide circle of friends, family, and community. He gave extensively of his time, talent and resources to help others. The Bruce E. Haney Charitable Fund was developed through Bruce's generosity and concern for others and was formed to contribute to the Raizman-Haney Endowed Fund. Thinking ahead, and thinking of others, Bruce led this effort to raise money to support research and awareness for cholangiocarcinoma and to help pave the way towards a cure.
Bruce was blessed to have had the wonderful caring hands and compassion of Dr. Wallis Marsh who became Bruce's friend and advocate. Through Dr. Marsh's skillful hands, Bruce gained three additional years of life. Our family is deeply grateful for all that Dr. Marsh has done for Bruce, along with the compassionate care of his oncologist, Dr. Stanley Marks, and proactive diagnosis and friendship of his dear friend, Dr. Jim Gleason.
Bruce was an avid golfer, athlete and sports fan. One of Bruce's passions was watching his daughters play field hockey at the Ellis School and Rhodes College. Bruce was a WPIAL championship golfer in high school and Orchid Island Country Club (Vero Beach) golf champion for three years. As passionate as Bruce was about competition and sports, he was doubly passionate about his relationships. He will be missed by the many who love him deeply.
Visitation will be at the JOHN F. SLATER FUNERAL HOME, 412-881-4100, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood 15227, Saturday from 6 - 8PM and Sunday 1 - 4PM and 6 - 8PM. Funeral service will be on Monday morning at 11:30AM at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Hampton Township. Interment will be in St. Mary of the Assumption Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made t The Bruce Haney Charitable Fund (C/0 ECHO REAL ESTATE SERVICES COMPANY, 701 ALPHA DRIVE, PITTSBURGH PA 15238, Attn: Natalie Colla)
Since our last update in mid-May, Bruce has been working with Dr. Marks to schedule chemo therapy treatments to address the two small lesions on Bruce’s spine, as well as for general therapeutic purposes. The treatments were scheduled for three-week cycles (e.g. Monday, Monday, Monday off; Monday, Monday, Monday off; scan), but low blood platelet levels on certain treatment days resulted in cancellation of the scheduled treatment for that week. Consequently, because Bruce has not received the full complement of chemo treatments over the last sixty days, he has not experienced the normal adverse side effects of the chemo therapy, and has generally felt better than he would otherwise during the prolonged chemo schedule. Some unexpected but very welcome news: blood work consistently indicates the tumor markers to be reducing, which is fantastic. Although no one has been able to fully explain the biologic reasons for the tumor marker reduction (since chemo treatments have been sporadic), we are all grateful for the results. Undoubtedly, Bruce’s diet and most importantly, your prayers have played an important role in this daily battle.
In the meantime, Bruce and his family are putting the finishing touches on the final Raizman-Haney Fund Golf Tournament to be held at Longue Vue on Friday, August 10th. It is going to be a splendid event; morning and afternoon golf, great lunch and fantastic cocktails and dining in the evening will make for a memorable day. We appreciate and thank all of you who have signed up to play golf and/or to attend the evening program. We have room for about thirty (30) more golfers in the morning golf shotgun, so if you can play and haven’t registered, please do so. If your schedule prohibits you from playing golf, but you can make the evening program, please register on our website (http://www.brucehaney.org). If you can’t make the event, take a moment to review the many raffle and silent auction items on the website; you can participate in the raffle and silent auction remotely. Your generous contributions are critically important, and we will be forever grateful for your support.
Thank you for your continued prayers; we hope to see you on August 10th!
On May 31, 2010, at 10:19 PM, "DISANTO, KEVIN" wrote:
It was an October day this past fall (2009), when my mom told me the news. Although there was a lot of noise in the house, I still remember how silent it felt, as I stood there in disbelief, and from the tears on her face, how scared my mother was. It was my mother's brother, Uncle Bruce, my Godfather and a person I have always idolized; he had cancer. My mom went on to tell me that the kind of cancer that Uncle Bruce has was a particularly insidious form of cancer - BILE DUCT CANCER, officially called cholangiocarcinoma (CO-LAN-GEE-OH-CAR-SIN-OH–MA). Role models are hard to come by and Uncle Bruce is my role model; a great guy and athlete. On that day in October, I had to face the fact that a person that I have idolized my entire life is having the battle of his life. One thing I know for certain, if there is someone who can beat this I know it will be my uncle.
What can I tell you about Bruce? How about the fact that Bruce was class president & a leader in high school, that he played three sports and was a WPIAL championship golfer? How about the fact that Uncle Bruce is really, really smart, especially in math and he went to an ivy-league school, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, graduating with a degree in finance?
Some of the other things that I could tell you about my Uncle Bruce are that he is extremely successful in business, and became successful at an early age, and that Uncle Bruce married his high school sweetheart and had two daughters, and gazillions of friends. Bruce is a hard worker, an honest man, and extremely ethical, encouraging me to always do the right thing. I think that I have always felt a special connection with my Uncle Bruce, as we were both the “third borns” in our families, and we always connected over sports.
To be honest, what I think that I would rather tell you about is the true heart of Uncle Bruce - that he is a very kind and generous man who gives tirelessly to his family and friends, giving of his time, talent, and resources. Bruce is loved by many, and it has never been more evident than now, as he fights this fight with amazing support. And one last quality of my Uncle Bruce's character is simply this: he is a fighter. All of his life, in spite of his successes and talents, Uncle Bruce had to fight through the fact that he had asthma. Then, when he was in high school, playing sports, there was a moment where they thought that Bruce had leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease. It turned out that he was ok, back then, but it was his fighter spirit that kept him going. It is this same fighting spirit that we all believe will help Uncle Bruce fight the cancer that he has now.
To be honest, it is hard for me to talk about a disease that is holding my uncle's life hostage. The original tumor was large, and was found accidentally. Uncle Bruce had gone in for a routine physical, and due to some minor bloodwork inconsistencies, Bruce's doctor sent him for a CAT scan. They found a 5.8 by 4.8 centimeter tumor on his liver, wrapped around the vena cava, the main artery going into the heart, making this tumor inoperable. Bile Duct Cancer is rare and considered lethal, and it was frightening for all of us to realize how little hope we should have all really felt. But that is not the nature of our family, especially Uncle Bruce. Uncle Bruce began chemo immediately, in order to knock this disease out as quickly as possible.
When my uncle found out that he had Bile Duct Cancer, everyone jumped on board to work to heal him. My mom bought books on cancer and sent the books to many family members. These books dealt with using nutrition and attitude to fight the disease. My Uncle Brian - who is my mom and Bruce's younger brother (an MIT grad) - began research on this type of cancer and began writing a "health plan" for Bruce. My Aunt Andrea, Bruce's wife, and her family made up T-Shirts that say "I believe...In Bruce" and wrist bands that say, "Bruce Strong." Prayers are being said, literally around the world. Candles have been lit for Bruce in West Minster Abbey in London, in the Vatican, and at the Wailing Wall in Israel. My mom and my Uncle Brian, along with my Grandma and Grandpa and many of my Aunt Andrea's family, took turns throughout 2010 spending days or weeks at Bruce's house in Pittsburgh, cooking for him, using the recipes that contain cancer-fighting ingredients.
During the six months following Bruce's diagnosis of cancer, we continued to receive great news. Between the prayers, the nutrition and the chemo, my Uncle Bruce's tumor was shrinking. The scan in April 2010 revealed that the tumor had shrunk to 1/3 the original size of the tumor, and Bruce's cancer "marker" in his blood had gone done from 134 to 4.2. Originally, all experts agreed that the tumor was inoperable, including the number 1 Bile Duct Cancer surgeon in the country. It became increasingly clear though that Bruce was at risk of not surviving the chemo treatments and that surgery was truly his only hope…and that was an option that was out of reach. After much research, Uncle Bruce was able to find only one doctor who stood alone and agreed to try to cut out as much of the tumor as possible, Dr. Marsh in Pittsburgh... Even though Dr. Marsh told Bruce that he couldn't get it all, Bruce knew that this was his only hope for surviving beyond this year.
Last Friday (May 21, 2010), a miracle of heroic proportions happened: Dr. Marsh operated on Uncle Bruce, 10 hours of grueling & intricate surgery, and was able to cut out (by spending at least 8 of the 10 hours gently scraping the tumor away from the veins) 100% of the tumor! My Uncle is cancer-free for the first time since this ordeal began 7 months ago.
My family and I are so very grateful for all of the miracles that have occurred since last October, beginning with the early and intuitive diagnosis by Dr. Gleason that gave Bruce that fighting chance (usually Bile Duct Cancer is found way too late, making the battle even more difficult)...thru Dr. Marks's chemo prescription that brought Bruce to a better "place" for surgery by shrinking the tumor to 1/3 of its original size...to Dr. Marsh, who held my uncle's life in his skillful & blessed hands, and gave it back.