Howard Keech

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Biographical Information

I grew up in Beverly, Mass. Upon graduation from high school, I enlisted in the aviation division of the Army. After six years in the Army, I transferred to the Coast Guard aviation division for the next 15 years. During that time, I lived in Chicago, Cape Cod, Puerto Rico and Clearwater, which was my last duty station. My military experiences earned me certifications as a commercial pilot and a flight engineer. I can fly multi-engine, instrument, turbo propeller and sea planes. I am also a master scuba diver.

While still in the Coast Guard, I started an aircraft maintenance business, which I built into a full-time endeavor when I retired in 1996.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma six months after my military retirement. I had stem-cell transplant at Moffitt and have been in and out of remission. I am back in remission with the help of new drugs, and I am continuing the battle. I just completed a procedure to bank my own stem cells, so that they will be available when I need them again.
I have been married for 22 years; my wife and I have an adult daughter. Oh, yes!  Even though I love to fly, I am a down-to-earth kind of guy, and I own four Harley Davidson motorcycles.
As a long-term patient here at Moffitt, I have met staff members from many departments. A social worker recommended that I participate in the Patient & Family Advisory Council; I accepted the honor as a means to give something back to the center that has given me renewed life.

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