LGBTQ community rallies behind former LGBT+ Center Orlando ED Terry DeCarlo after cancer diagnosis

By : Jeremy Williams
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(Photo from Ben Johansen’s Facebook page)

ORLANDO | Terry DeCarlo, the former executive director of the LGBT+ Center in Orlando who headed The Center in the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy, announced that he is battling Stage 4 neck and face cancer.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, DeCarlo underwent a 10 and a half-hour surgery Oct. 15 to remove the bulk of a tumor and to rebuild his face and jaw.

DeCarlo first saw symptoms in June when he went to his dentist because his mouth began to bleed profusely after he brushed. His dentist sent him to a doctor immediately.

DeCarlo, who left Orlando in June 2018 to work in South Florida, will undergo radiation and then chemotherapy starting this month.

Due to rising healthcare costs, friends of DeCarlo started a GoFundMe page to help with his mounting hospital bills. The GoFundMe page has raised just under $10,000. A fundraiser has also been organized in South Florida to benefit DeCarlo. The event will be held at The Pub in Wilton Manors on Nov. 17. Hosted by Nikki Adams it will feature several entertainers as well as a silent auction.

DeCarlo took to Facebook to thank the community for its support.

“I cannot thank you, the community enough for rallying around me during this VERY trying time,” he began the post.

Central Florida’s own #TheRibbonMaker, Ben Johansen is heading the charge to put together an Orlando gift basket for the fundraiser’s silent auction.

“Do you know Terry DeCarlo? Do you remember all he helped with here in Orlando? He might not live here anymore, but he left part of his heart behind here,” Johansen wrote.

Anyone wanting to contribute can drop donations off at Embellish FX in Orlando by Nov. 15. Monetary donations can be made at DeCarlos’ GoFundMe page.

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