When 27-year-old Dominic Bridgeman was admitted to the emergency room on May 21, 2021, he and his family assumed that the pain he was experiencing in his back and stomach was due to Covid-19, which he had tested positive for earlier in the week. In fact, it was their first sign that he had stage three metastatic testicular cancer, which had spread to his stomach and lungs.
Dominic passed away less than a month later, on June 14, but his bravery, strength, and determination to help others fight cancer lives on through the Do It For Dom – Focus Foundation, which he started under the name “Focus” while in the hospital.
“Even while he was fighting for his life, Dominic was thinking of others. From his hospital bed, he created the concept of this foundation,” writes Ray Bridgeman, Dominic’s father, on the foundation’s website. Dominic had told him, “Dad, I know what I want to do with my life when I beat this thing and get out of the hospital. I want to find a way to help others and their families going through this. Encourage people to get early and often check-ups and be a motivation to those going through this journey.”
Ray, with the help of his family, decided to continue this mission by turning Dominic’s company into an official foundation. Do It For Dom – Focus Foundation works to raise awareness for all forms of cancer, de-stigmatize the conversation around certain forms of cancer, and encourage people to seek regular medical care for early detection. The foundation will also donate to cancer research and start a grant program that provides financial support to families who are battling cancer in the Greater Lehigh Valley area.
“I created the foundation with Dominic’s mission in mind. His brother Devin (who has been creating most of the social media marketing right now) is on the advisory board along with Chris Morganelli, a dear friend and business partner. We plan on growing the advisory board in the near future. His sister Danika is extremely involved with helping push out social media notifications of events as well,” Ray said.
So far, Ray said, the foundation has been actively hosting events, working with local friends and businesses, and accepting online donations. He hopes to expand its reach through marketing, hosting more events, and bringing on key members to grow awareness of Dominic’s story and the foundation. Its members are also in the process of organizing a festival to take place on June 12, 2022 in honor of Dominic’s love of music and entertainment, which they hope will become an annual event.
“We are just hopeful this will grow, and if we can convince one person to get checked out and it prevents another tragedy, then that would be enough,” Ray said. “The ultimate goal would be to be just one of the pieces that, at some point, gets rid of cancer forever.”