ZNY Brother in Need
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brothers and Sisters,

Several months ago, Chris Chiorando, a controller at New York Center (ZNY), was diagnosed with Lung Cancer, stage 4. By the time the cancer was discovered it had spread to his lymph-nodes and bones. Chris started treatment immediately and has been receiving Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatments to reverse the spread of the cancer. There has been some success in battling the bone cancer in his lower back and hip area; however, the last set of scans indicated additional areas in his upper spine and neck area. As a result of the treatments and the side effects, Chris's leave balances have reached critical levels. Though Chris had received over 500 hours of leave donated to date, his balances are once again approaching zero.

Chris had been a controller at New York Center his whole career. Furthermore, he has been a NATCA member his whole career, and has worked on several NATCA lead projects. This January he will hit his 20-year mark with the agency; however, he is not eligible to retire until 2016. A disease like not only affects the individual, but Chris's wife and two sons, aged 17 and 14, are also having to deal with these difficult issues and challenges.

Chris has been coming to work as much as he can to save the donated leave for those days that he has doctor appointments (which are many) or is unable to come to work because of the side effects of the treatments. The agency has actually done the right thing and has provided Chris with the flexibility to work when he can and has plenty of meaningful work to keep him active and busy at work. Chris has been working on ERAM issues (that is a full time job just on its own), oceanic issues and NATCA issues.

Requirements to make a donation: You can only donate sick leave if you have over 240 hours on the books. (ie 250 hours sick, you can donate up to 10 hours). For Annual Leave donations, you can donate up to 1/2 of your existing balance (ie if you have accumulated 20 hours of annual leave, you can donate up to 10 hours).

See the attached form to make a donation. Once you fill it out, turn it into your supervisor who will fill out his/her part and forward it to personnel. As controllers we don't have easy access to the FAA Admin computers to do the electronic transfer. If you can make the electronic transfer, Chris is listed under the eastern, zny, atcs, 0061. 

As the end of the leave year approaches, if you have 'use or lose' and were just taking a day off so as not to give it back to the agency, consider working the day and give a few hours to Chris or any other NATCA member on the Leave Donation List.
We at New York Center wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

Thank you in advance for your help,

Julio Henriques