HEART4CURES

Media Coverage
Apr 25, 2019

I'm Famous! :)

Check out the WMUR Video and the Eagle Tribune article about my journey. 

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My Fundraising Page
Apr 25, 2019

Mom's Story

During the month of December, 2014, my mother, Deborah DeFeudis became ill. At the time, it appeared to be nothing other than the common cold or flu. After an initial trip to the doctor, she was diagnosed with a sinus infection and bronchitis. When my mother’s condition did not improve, she found herself back and forth to her doctor’s office. Each time leaving with a different medication.

It wasn’t until December 24th when I arrived at her home as I usually do to assist in prepping for the holiday festivities. I was greeted by my sister and told that she and our mother were getting ready to go back to the doctor’s as she was still not feeling well.

As I elected to join them and while waiting at the doctor’s office, my sister and I discussed our plan for getting ready for Christmas as we do every year. My mother eventually returned from being examined and this time, my mother was diagnosed with a touch of pneumonia. Although her condition seemed to be more severe than originally thought, it was still only a matter of dealing with something that basic medication would be able to remedy.

Homeward bound we went, a quick stop at the local drug store to acquire the medication prescribed and off to bed for rest and recovery for my mother.  I assumed responsibilities of cooking and serving our Christmas Eve dinner as we were hosting some friends and family. As the night drew in and relatives arrived, things were not so well with my mother. Her stay at the dinner table was limited and she hardly ate anything. Christmas day came and went, and I stayed with my mother and tended to her needs as things became somewhat concerning.

On December 26th,  things began to get even worse. At one point in the late afternoon my mother  told me that she had gotten up to try and take a shower and had to lay right back down after feeling faint. After hearing this, I contacted the doctor’s office again and was directed to bring my mother to the hospital.

This time, we headed into the emergency room. After being admitted we were seen by medical staff.

Judging by the look on the ER doctor’s face, I knew something was coming. It didn’t take long and after a deep breath, the doctor began to explain what the normal range of a healthy person’s white blood cell count (WBC) should be at (11,000 to 14,000). My mother’s WBC at over 114,000.

After hearing the number 114,000, tunnel vision began to set in. As the steady noise of countless people conducting business in the vicinity became faint and almost unheard, I caught the doctor’s now low volume voice say the word “Leukemia”. 

I turned to my mother and the look of fear on her face was all I could focus in on. I’ll never forget the frightening tone in her voice as she said “I knew I wasn’t going home”. I tightened my grip on the rail of her bed as I felt my knee’s begin to buckle. I held on to the bed, I kept my focus on her face and opened my mouth. As I had just lost my breath and on the verge of passing out I told her the first thing that came to mind. We are going to get through this.

I needed to act but was still frozen and limited with what I could say. I was still trying to absorb what I just experienced. Nightmares are meant to wake up from, this one is as real and frightening as it gets and the person who has been with me since day one and who I love the most was submerged in it.

After shaking my head a few times and gathering what I could for baring, I fought back tears and fear as I instantly began caregiving for my mother.

After giving her a kiss and telling her I love her, I told her that I was going to step out of the room for a minute.

I rushed down one of the hallways and began calling relatives because at this time, no one knew where we were.

I made my time limited and hurried back to the room, after returning, the head doctor of oncology came in and began giving us a rundown of what’s to come in the next 24 to 48 hours. He handled us with the utmost kindness and began immediately serving us with a positive attitude as he assured us that my mother was going to be provided with the best possible care she needs. After the next six months and to this day, I still believe he and his staff did just as he promised.

After just 2 hours, my mother was in and receiving  chemotherapy and a plan was in place to treat her.

Over the course of the following six months, I never left my mother’s side during the many nights she spent in the hospital. The only times I left her was when I had to go to work and only if there was someone else to be with her.

As time went on, I witnessed and experienced the ups and downs but remained realistic during the good times and optimistic during the not so good times. When you see a loved one go through the horrific experience like battling cancer or any illness, all you want to do is make them well again. Not a day goes by that I need to remind myself that I did everything I could have done to provide the care my mother deserved and then some.

When it came time to accept the horrible conclusion that treatment was no longer effective and quality care was the only option for my mother, I assumed all responsibility to provide care that would otherwise be left up to Hospice services. As difficult as this time was, I felt it was not only my responsibility but my obligation to make certain that my mother receive what was needed in order to eliminate any unnecessary suffering. Along with her comfort, I was determined to make sure my mother’s dignity as the truly wonderful women she is, was not to be compromised in the eyes of anyone.

I opted for her to come home and be in her own bed instead of unfamiliar surroundings, no matter what was offered. I invoked my option with my job for a leave of absence and moved in. From the time my mother was transported home on June 1st, 2015, I maintained a state of vigilance toward her care that put my own needs and care aside. Even when she could no longer communicate, I made certain she was provided with medication on a strict regimented schedule because even the slightest bit of avoidable pain and suffering was unacceptable.

On the early morning of June 4th, 2015 just after 6:00 a.m., I watched my mother take her last breath. The heartbreak endured over the course of the past six months hit me all at once. It was the first time since my knees buckled in the emergency room that I felt as if I couldn’t keep a level of strength within me.

In the days leading up to the wake and funeral, I spent a lot of time reflecting on life and where it was to take me from here. Even at my moments of weakness, I still wanted to remain in the fight. I wanted so very badly for my mother to get well and continue living far beyond her 63 years. I believe the residual strength that was still in me would not leave until I’ve exhausted it on my own.

In the days that followed after my mother’s funeral, I continued to reflect and come to the conclusion that although my mother was no longer with me, she was still in my heart and memory. The permanent look of fear displayed on my mother’s face over the past six months and the rage I had in me because of what she went through continued for me internally.

I remember sitting up one night and realizing that my fight was not over. Accepting that my mother was now gone from this earth was not a reason for me to just dismiss any of the ambition of continuing on with this fight. I decided that I was going to get the most out of life by staying in the fight. Six months and a major loss put me on a course that the only way I will come off of will be for the day to come that a cure for cancer will be upon all of us. Nightmares can show up at any given time in our lives but so can dreams if in search of them no matter how far away they are even 140.6 miles away.

My “why” is many things, it’s my strength, it’s my rage, it’s my dream and most of all, it’s my mother!    

 

 

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Supporter Comments

  •  
    "Good luck Joey...keep up the good work!"
     

    Bob Holland

    Tue Sep 18 01:36:55 EDT 2018

  •  
    "We will be cheering you on all the way! "
     

    Beverly Bergeron

    Thu Sep 20 12:07:44 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Get em JoJoa!"
     

    David Roberge

    Sun Sep 23 03:28:21 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Good luck Joey! Xo"
     

    Jena Ducharme

    Sun Sep 23 07:14:36 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Cheers to another successful fundraiser and marathon Joey! Love you!!!"
     

    Anonymous

    Fri Sep 28 11:13:00 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Joey, Thank You for all you do for this great cause. Your support of this great cause means a lot to so many. "
     

    Steven Henderson

    Sun Sep 30 06:09:56 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Go, Joey! GO, TEAM!!"
     

    Cathy E

    Sun Sep 30 08:21:00 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Best of Luck Joey, your Mom is proud!"
     

    M&L

    Mon Oct 01 01:20:37 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Good luck Joey!! God Speed!"
     

    Michael White

    Mon Oct 01 09:42:55 EDT 2018

  •  
    "GREAT JOB BROTHER "
     

    R Paul Marchand

    Mon Oct 01 04:04:21 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Best of Luck! You can make a difference! Bob and Lynne"
     

    Bob & Lynne

    Sun Oct 14 10:59:38 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Good Luck Joey!"
     

    Kevin Fitzgerald

    Mon Oct 22 11:33:35 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Good Luck Joey! Love Adria and Mike "
     

    Michael Verrocchi

    Tue Oct 23 11:30:54 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Good Luck CJ!"
     

    Justin Bagley

    Wed Oct 24 11:17:04 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Good luck DeFeudaberg - Gleason"
     

    Brendan Gleason

    Wed Oct 24 11:18:41 EDT 2018

  •  
    "You go Joey, Sharon & Joe Scarlata"
     

    Sharon & Joe Scarlata

    Fri Oct 26 12:31:59 EDT 2018

  •  
    "In memory of all of those who fought so hard and died too young. Especially my Father-in-law Christopher Mares who fought the good fight until he was 97 years young. Love and miss you everyday! Best of Luck officer DeFeudis!!!! Salem is rooting for you!!"
     

    Leighann Mares

    Fri Oct 26 02:32:01 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Strong work!!"
     

    Marnie Sheeran

    Sat Oct 27 08:55:25 EDT 2018

  •  
    "My mom died of cancer and my husband is a marine. Thank you for raising money for this cause and for your service. Good luck and wish I would be going with you to Hawaii to yhis!"
     

    Brenda Atkinson

    Sat Oct 27 09:34:28 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Best of Luck Joey, we are all behind you! JD"
     

    Joel P. Dolan

    Wed Oct 31 08:24:01 EDT 2018

  •  
    "KONA BOUND!!!!"
     

    The McCarthy's

    Wed Oct 31 03:29:30 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Good luck joe"
     

    Nicholas Manent

    Wed Oct 31 03:49:52 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Go Joey, Go!"
     

    Brian Lawrence

    Wed Oct 31 04:40:49 EDT 2018

  •  
    "You rock Joey! God Bless"
     

    Natalie & Mark Liupakka

    Sat Nov 03 12:35:53 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Thanks for all you do!! "
     

    Laurie Staveski

    Mon Jan 28 10:23:01 EST 2019

  •  
    "Thank you Joey!!"
     

    John O'Donnell Jr.

    Tue Feb 12 08:16:34 EST 2019

  •  
    "Good Luck!"
     

    Chris Dillon

    Thu Feb 14 08:30:53 EST 2019

  •  
    "Joe, you got this my friend. Your mom is shining down upon you. You are such an amazing guy.."
     

    Sharon Savage

    Thu Feb 14 12:15:13 EST 2019

  •  
    "God Bless you. "
     

    Anonymous

    Thu Feb 28 02:23:38 EST 2019

  •  
    "Your Mom willl be watching over you every step of the way. Bless you for all you do."
     

    K Rapaglia

    Fri Mar 01 08:14:10 EST 2019

  •  
    "Great cause. Best of luck to you in training and at the race."
     

    Brooke & Suzanne Farr

    Fri Mar 01 02:36:49 EST 2019

  •  
    "Never Give Up!"
     

    Anonymous

    Sat Mar 02 10:39:11 EST 2019

  •  
    "Best of Luck! Katie Cook"
     

    Katie Cook

    Thu Sep 13 01:25:05 EDT 2018

  •  
    "You got this JoJo!! I am so proud of you!"
     

    AMY DESANTIS

    Thu Sep 13 12:12:10 EDT 2018

  •  
    "Every mile is a step foward. Thank you for what you do for a town and for what you are doing for a cure."
     

    David & Mary Gauvain

    Sun Mar 03 06:34:37 EST 2019

  •  
    "This really touched my heart. I have admiration for you as a son, a man and a police officer. God bless you, good luck and stay safe out there. "
     

    Anonymous

    Sun Mar 03 08:32:44 EST 2019

  •  
    "Good luck Joey D"
     

    Joe & Julie Kinch

    Sun Mar 03 01:29:48 EST 2019

  •  
    "God Bless you for the fight.I had a similar one with my dad who died of cancer at 68.Your mom/my dad are up there watching us with smiles of pride."
     

    Joseph Imbriani

    Sun Mar 03 03:09:25 EST 2019

  •  
    "Best of luck to you Officer DeFeudis!"
     

    Elizabeth Govoni

    Mon Mar 04 03:56:55 EST 2019

  •  
    "Joey, Good luck with both you Ironman and your fundraising to find a cure for LEUKEMIA. So happy we met last year. Continued success in all you do. Carl"
     

    carl pascal

    Wed Mar 06 09:25:44 EST 2019

  •  
    "Semper Fidelis Brother! Love and Miss you Auntie!"
     

    Derek Alsup

    Sat Mar 23 02:40:22 EDT 2019

  •  
    "It?s my pleasure to donate after being informed of you fundraiser by Timmy Harner. "
     

    Kirk and Vicki

    Sun Mar 24 08:59:02 EDT 2019

  •  
    "I have a similar experience with my daughter's fight. She was 16 and a Senior at Salem High School when diagnosed. She fought hard for 2 1/2 years but lost the battle to cancer at 19 years old. Thank you Joey for all that you are doing to help find a cure for cancer. "
     

    Bonnie Reynolds - Fitzgerald

    Tue Mar 26 09:12:14 EDT 2019

  •  
    "Good luck Joey!"
     

    Susan McLoughlin

    Wed Apr 03 02:18:12 EDT 2019

  •  
    "From one Kona athlete to another, you will kick booty! Thank you for all you do to help crush cancer! Go Team! Christopher & Lisa Trent (Los Angeles)"
     

    Trent family

    Sun Apr 21 06:22:49 EDT 2019

  •  
    "Thanks for the inspiring story you told my son jack and I this morning at the kick cancer 5k in Somerset. Best of look in October! Never give up, John Hansen "
     

    John Hansen

    Sat May 04 11:13:05 EDT 2019

  •  
    "Good luck Joe!"
     

    Kristin Fili

    Wed May 22 01:19:00 EDT 2019

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $14,007.25 | Goal: $50,000.00
 
28 %

Make a Donation

Join Joseph DeFeudis in the Mission to wipe out blood cancer:

 Titanium $1,000.00
 Platinum $500.00
 Gold $250.00
 Silver $100.00
 Super $50.00
 Star $25.00
 Other $

In Memory of

Deborah DeFeudis

My Thanks To

Salem Police Benevolent A... $2000.00
RaceWire dba Blue Star Sp... $1380.00
Mark and Michele Levesque $500.00
RaceWire dba Blue Star Sp... $376.50
RaceWire dba Blue Star Sp... $255.75
Cathy and David Edington $250.00
Philip Hirshberg $250.00
K Rapaglia $250.00
Sharon Savage $250.00
Jimmy Massahos $250.00
Christine and Eric Dugas $200.00
Christine and Randall Rei... $120.00
Kristin Fili $100.00
Tom Hodgson Committee $100.00
Kirk and Vicki $100.00
Derek Alsup $100.00
Dave and Storer Pepper $100.00
carl pascal $100.00
Joseph Imbriani $100.00
Chris Dillon $100.00
Stephanie Bergeron $100.00
Michael Cummings $100.00
Lucas White $100.00
Robert Morin Jr. $100.00
Stephen Keller $100.00
Donna & Randy Raimondi $100.00
Natalie & Mark Liupakka $100.00
Sean Wilson $100.00
Bobby Kirley $100.00
Brian Lawrence $100.00
Nicholas Manent $100.00
The McCarthy's $100.00
Wojo $100.00
Joel P. Dolan $100.00
Chad Clark $100.00
Brian Routhier $100.00
James M Carlin $100.00
Sharon & Joe Scarlata $100.00
Brendan Gleason $100.00
Justin Bagley $100.00
Michael Verrocchi $100.00
Swanson Family $100.00
Kevin Fitzgerald $100.00
Argenis Gomez $100.00
Bob & Lynne $100.00
Camille McLaughlin $100.00
Sandra Albano $100.00
Mitch Diresta $100.00
Scott Witko $100.00
Steven Henderson $100.00
Anonymous $100.00
Beverly Bergeron $100.00
AMY DESANTIS $100.00
John O'Donnell Jr. $65.00
Joel Correia Electric $60.00
Derek Amaral $60.00
Michael Martone $50.00
Sandra Barnett $50.00
Kristen Brescia $50.00
Bonnie Reynolds - Fitzge... $50.00
Joe & Julie Kinch $50.00
David & Mary Gauvain $50.00
John and Donna Sytek $50.00
David Comeau $50.00
Laurie Staveski $50.00
Arlene and Paul Donovan $50.00
Joseph Keating $50.00
Joe Keating $50.00
Marnie Sheeran $50.00
Leighann Mares $50.00
Judith Farah $50.00
Jena Ducharme $50.00
Stephie $50.00
Cathy and David Edington $30.00
Kayla Ferranti $30.00
Stephanie Roy $30.00
Janice Burleigh $25.00
Anonymous $25.00
RaceWire dba Blue Star Sp... $25.00
rosemarie Curran $25.00
Dianna McMahon $25.00
Beth Pappalardo $25.00
John Hansen  
Trent family  
Susan McLoughlin  
Elizabeth Govoni  
Brooke & Suzanne Farr  
Brenda Atkinson  
R Paul Marchand  
Michael White  
M&L  
Cathy E  
David Roberge  
Bob Holland  
Katie Cook  
Kortney  
Mike Garcia