A Lover and a Fighter
After 15 lymphoma-related surgeries, Margit Arias never thought she would live to see as much of the world as her husband, Adam P. Arias, wanted to show her. So for their third wedding anniversary on Sept. 5, Mr. Arias, 37, surprised her with a globe encrusted with semiprecious stones.
They had married 18 months after the stark diagnosis. He prodded and cajoled her through treatment. During chemotherapy week, he did everything around their Staten Island apartment. But he would deliberately put his cigar ashtray in the wrong place, to jolt Mrs. Arias, a neatness fanatic, out of her chemo stupor. When she felt stronger, Mr. Arias would take her to a movie, on trips out of town; he even nudged her onto a golf course.
He was determined she would make it. A workaholic, he rose to a vice presidency at Euro Brokers with only a high school equivalency diploma. He was scary-smart ‹ at 7, he knew the names of all the presidents, their wives and their parties ‹ but not intimidatingly so, with a wicked wit and another life as a bar balladeer, covering songs from Tony Bennett and Meat Loaf.
On Sept. 11, he was determined that others would make it, too. He lingered, prodding colleagues to leave. Last week, Mrs. Arias had her 16th operation. "I didn't want to," she said. "But Adam fought too hard to keep me alive."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 24, 2001.