Carlos Moran was an elementary school teacher, national Judo Champion, an amazing uncle, son, brother and loving husband to his wife, Charissa. If you knew Carlos or just met him on the street, you would instantly notice that he had a positive outlook on life. He was an incredibly sweet person and loved by so many. Shortly after graduating from college, getting married and starting his teaching career, Carlos was diagnosed with Stage 4 renal medullary carcinoma (RMC), an aggressive and often fatal kidney cancer found in individuals with sickle cell trait.
He was only 27.
Carlos started practicing Judo when he was 8 years old. His passion, dedication and persistence to perfect his skills paid off by winning the competition and becoming a “National Judo Champion.” He travelled around the world to compete and taught Judo for 10 years. His status as a third-degree black belt and “National Judo Champion” did not change his kind and gentle demeanor. Throughout his life, he loved children and knew one day that he would become an educator. His passion for teaching led him to pursue a career in education.
Upon completing college, Carlos began teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science, and later began teaching special education. Even throughout his cancer battle and numerous treatments, he found the strength to return to his classroom at Norman S. Weir, a public school in Paterson. When the cancer became too advanced, he made the difficult decision to place his teaching career on hold. It was heartbreaking to leave his students because he loved them so much.
Within the course of four years, Carlos endured seven different types of treatments, five surgeries, and three procedures. He received his first treatment at New York Presbyterian Hospital and after seven months his scans revealed that he was in remission. We rejoiced with the news and felt like he had conquered this cancer.
Six months later the scans revealed that there were new cancer cells growing in his body. The decision was made to seek advise from Dr. Pavlos Msaouel, physician at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Not only did this young newly wed couple have to cope with the diagnosis of cancer, but for a couple of years they had to travel between New Jersey and Texas for Carlos to receive treatment.
In March of this year, Carlos was to receive his last treatment of the Phase 1 trial at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. This happened to be during the rise of COVID-19 pandemic. While in Texas, Carlos had a stroke that affected his speech. He was taken to the emergency department by his wife and later admitted to the hospital. Carlos remained in the hospital a little over a week with his wife by his side. Due to the pandemic, Charissa was not allowed to leave the hospital and their family was not allowed to travel to Texas without being quarantined for 14 days since New Jersey was a hot spot for COVID-19. However, Ritchie Johnson, President/Founder of the Chris “CJ” Foundation, Inc. was given permission to be in the room with Carlos and Charissa during last seven hours of his life. She was able to calm Charissa down and face the fact that he had lived a beautiful life and was tired and very weak. Because of Ritchie, Charissa was able to cuddle with Carlos for the last time and watch the Avenger’s End Game. He passed away on April 28, 2020 as his wife laid in his arms.
Carlos will be missed. He is loved by all and a friend to many. He was kind and took the biggest pleasure in helping everyone he could. He loved to make everyone laugh. He enjoyed life, loved laughing, and being with family. Although he is physically not here, we can remember a strong, loving, comical man, who would do anything to make us smile. His spirit will forever live in our hearts.