"The world is a poorer place without Joseph."
Joseph was a 16 year-old aspiring doctor who was passionate about sports and science. He was a Junior at Matawan Regional High School, and actively involved in multiple athletic activities including football, wrestling and track (he was a 2013 NJ Group State Champion). His inquisitive nature made him a true innovator. He possessed a determination and courageous nature that was truly an inspiration to all of us. He is and was the definition of a true warrior. On December 17th, 2013 Joseph was diagnosed with Stage IV Ewing’s Sarcoma – a rare and aggressive bone cancer that primarily affects children and adolescents. At the time of diagnosis, Joseph was treated at Sloan Kettering where he underwent a pretty aggressive chemotherapy treatment protocol, which included seven different chemo agents, coupled with radiation therapies. After three months of treatments, and while receiving the fifth cycle of chemotherapy, Joseph experienced the first disease progression. After this setback, Joseph underwent several alternative treatments including off-label medicines that were in the early stages of discovery for their potential benefits to treat Ewing's Sarcoma. During that time, he was treated by oncologists outside Sloan, selected for their ability to practice medicine "outside the box". Despite all of those alternative and subsequent treatments the disease continued to progress aggressively. The limited research on Ewing’s and the lack of new innovative treatments offered little to no hope to Joseph and to all of the children who unfortunately were or are battling this disease. Joseph fought hard and bravely for about 9 months, during which time he maintained a positive attitude, a loving kind demeanor and a strong-willed determination. His inner strength, courage and willpower were some of traits that defined him as who he really was: a true warrior! His oncologist at Sloan said to us "the world is a poorer place without Joseph" and he was, indeed, right.