Trumping the Odds
In 1995, when Allen was a football-playing senior at the University of Pennsylvania, his brother Eric, then 19, was diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia. "I was scared to death," says Kevin. Eric underwent two rounds of chemo, but the disease returned in 1997, and doctors determined that he needed a bone marrow transplant.
Even siblings aren't always good matches, but luckily Kevin was deemed a suitable donor. "I knew that making sure that I was going to be okay was the No. 1 priority for him," says Eric, now 28. Still, in the weeks before the procedure took place, Kevin recalls, "Eric was calling me every day to make sure I wasn't doing anything stupid: 'Are you in a bar? Get out.' "
Except for one "semirelapse" in 1998, Eric has been healthy ever since. "His wife [Savena, 27, who's expecting twins in February] threw a surprise five-year remission party for him last year," says Kevin. Eric, a commercial lender in Bethesda, Md., was the one who got Kevin to try out for The Apprentice. "I love to see him on the show," says Eric. "I think it's pretty representative of who he is. You can't slack off around Kevin. He has high expectations of people he works with." And even more of himself. "Eric beat the odds through attitude, saying, 'I will win,' " says Kevin. So when it comes to Apprentice challenges, he says, "I'm like, 'Well, why not?' "