Hospital VP Rides to Conquer Cancer in Honor of ‘Grand’ Grandfather

I have decided to participate in the Ride to Conquer Cancer to honor my grandfather, Angelo Incorvia Jr. who fought lung cancer for several years.

My grandfather was part of the highly respected Greatest Generation. Similar to many of his generation, he honorably served his country in World War II. He was so compelled to enlist that he found a creative way to circumvent the minimum age requirement and hearing screening to gain acceptance in the Army and ultimately served for three years in Europe.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have had such a close relationship with my grandfather. He was an integral part of my childhood and as a young adult I considered him my best friend. My fondest memories were Sunday dinners at his home, which consisted of an over-the-top Italian meal cooked by my grandmother and sitting on his front porch listening to his war stories. My grandfather was extremely modest, generous, had a great sense of humor and always seemed to know when someone needed a little extra love and attention. He had a profound impact on my personal development and I always strive to lead my life in a way that would make him proud.

ride to conquer cancer

Ryan Brown, VP of Operations at Howard County General Hospital, is biking in the 150-mile Ride to Conquer Cancer next month in honor of his grandfather Angelo Incorvia, Jr. (above), a World War II veteran and integral part of Ryan’s childhood. Click here to support Ryan and Ride to Conquer Cancer, which benefits Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Howard County General Hospital.

Family was most important to my grandfather, which was evident by the fact that his home was always full with children, siblings, cousins and friends. It was a meeting place for all and so many joyous holidays were celebrated under his roof. Later in life my grandfather grew quite fond of gardening and, in particular, his coveted tomatoes. Every time I enjoy a tomato I smile and think of him.

It was extremely difficult to watch someone I idolized develop cancer. My grandfather fought cancer for several years and, unfortunately, it metastasized and he lost his battle on May 5, 2004. The entire time he battled cancer he always found opportunities to introduce a little humor into situations to lighten everyone’s spirits. Typical of my grandfather – placing everyone’s feelings above his.

A 150-mile bike ride is certainly an overwhelming endeavor. However, I jumped at the opportunity to participate to honor my grandfather and raise funds that may help reach a cure for this disease.

Ryan Brown is vice president of Operations at Howard County General Hospital (HCGH). He and hospital President Steve Snelgrove are leading HCGH’s team in the two-day, 150-mile Ride to Conquer Cancer, a bike ride benefiting the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and HCGH.