A little bit of backstory, Cpl. Duva enlisted into the USMC in 2009, was stationed with the 2/3 Marines, Weapons Company as a 0341 Mortarman in Hawaii. He deployed to Nawa-I-Barakzayi District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. He left the USMC in 2013. Approximately 2.5 years ago, Cpl. Duva began having severe headaches, double vision and severe spinal/back pain. He went to the East Orange VAMC and was given an x-ray (Feb. 2018), the providers stated "everything looked fine and chronic back pain is common in veterans" and sent Cpl. Duva home. After his symptoms continued, he went back and had a vision test where the opthamologist saw spots on his brain, he was then sent for an "emergent MRI" that took weeks to get, he was diagnosed with a pineal gland tumor on his brain which subsequently affected his central nervous system and caused him to go blind, the official diagnosis was a germinoma (rare pediatric brain cancer) in June 2018.After receiving chemotherapy and radiation, his cancer was "gone" per his providers. His cancer returned in the summer of 2020 and he passed away months later on November 5, 2020. Pat’s Purpose was created to honor Pat and keep his legacy alive.
Our goal is to educate and inform veterans, their families, and our community about the realities of battlefield toxic exposure. The immediate risks and dangers associated with military service are well known, but some of the lingering effects are not. We are dedicated to bringing much needed attention to this issue and provide assistance and support to those suffering from the effects of toxic burn pits and other service related exposures. In honor of Pat’s generous heart and many acts of selfless service, we are committed to effectuating change for his military brothers and sisters now and in the future. Facta Non Verba- Actions, Not Words.