You guys know about Tassy because I’ve written about Tassy since Tassy became “Ian’s Tassy.”
A 19-year-old Haitian who had a cancerous tumor growing on his jaw and who couldn’t have it removed because of the destruction the earthquake wreaked on Haiti’s hospitals.
Former Survivor contestant (OMG, he is going to SHAKE A FIST AT ME for mentioning Survivor again, but I don’t care. Survivor Survivor Survivor!) Ian Rosenberger had a chance meeting of Tassy in Haiti and decided he was going to save his life.
And then he did.
Four months after he brought him to Pittsburgh for his surgery, Ian took Tassy back home to Haiti on an early flight yesterday to reunite Tassy with his mother and siblings and other family and friends. Tassy is healthy and happy and whole.
I asked Ian and Tassy each five questions for my next installment of Five Questions for … over at Pittsburgh Magazine.
It’s one of the most incredible stories I’ve ever seen unfold and one sure to make you believe in the power of love, the power of perseverance, and the power of Pittsburgh’s people.
A snippet from Ian’s answers:
4. What was the single scariest moment of this journey for you?
For me, I can pick it out exactly. It was this past July, before we had money, doctors or we even really knew what Tassy’s chances were. Tassy e-mailed me worried that he was getting worse, and I was hanging out with my Dad at my parent’s place. I had zero idea of how to help this kid, and was really scared that he would die before we could get our sh*t together enough to get him to the States. I had given him my word, and in Haiti, when some white dude comes from the U.S. and says he can help you, you believe him, you even count on it. Knowing that kept me up at night.
There are two other questions I asked Ian about the future of this effort, and I’m going to share those with you next week because they’re as incredibly moving as Tassy’s story.
As for Tassy, these are the questions I asked him:
1. What does Pittsburgh and its people mean to you?
2. What are you going to miss the most about living here?
3. What shocked you the most about America?
4. What kind of future do you see for yourself, and how is it different than the future you envisioned before you came to America?
5. If there’s just one thing you’d want us to remember about you, what would it be?
I guarantee his answers to #1 and #5 are going to have you blinking away tears.