Local paralympian battling cancer says he would rather 'fight than quit'
For the past 14 years Paralympian Augusto "Goose" Perez of East Syracuse, has been battling a rare agressive form of cancer that attacks his connective tissue.
The cancer has come back four times since than and though he has lost his leg to the disease, Perez says he refuses to let it take away his spirit.
"My choices are to be on a couch drugged up and feeling sorry for myself or being out there enjoying whatever time I have left. I owe it to my kids, I owe it to my wife and everybody that has been helping me," he says.
Perez has been to the Paralympics twice before for Curling but this will be his first time competing in the Biathalon which he says is one of the toughest of the olympic sports. "It is as hard as the Olympic Games because we train as hard but sometimes we only use half the body."
Training hard is a way of life for Perez. At 41 he is one of the oldest members of the Paralympic team but he's also one of the toughest. As he puts it, "He'd rather fight and inspire than quit and retire."
Doctors say Perez has only a fifteen percent chance of surviving the next five years. Perez refuses to dwell on the future prefering he says to focus instead on living each moment to the fullest. "if my kids see me down because of what happens to me they just see me defeated and why waste whatever time I have left defeated."
For information on Goose Perez: www.gofundme.com/GooseCancerWarrior.