Joeys Journey – April 5th Update


Lately the word gratitude has been weighing heavily on my mind….I wonder if before my family went to war with cancer if I was ever truly thankful.  I mean truly, truly thankful for the littlest things that occur on a daily basis; because those little things, have become the biggest and best things to us.

Last week, was our first week without treatment (inpatient or out patient). We were just at home, trying to figure our new “normal”.  Chris returned to work for a couple of days and Joey and I were at home. Joey began to eat again…. a little at first and then it almost seemed like his normal appetite. I used to take for granted when he would easily a plate of pasta for dinner and now when he finishes a serving, I want to throw a party!!

Joey also began to his want to socialize with his friends again and not just play video games with them; but really PLAY!!! There were toys all over my house!! Upstairs, downstairs, and on my front lawn and I couldn’t have been happier!! I was so thrilled that I wanted to throw toys around with them!

Joey also decided to visit his school and class! Talk about feeling like your heart wanting to explode out of your chest with pride….it was probably to date one of my proudest moments as a mom.  I know that he was scared, nervous, anxious and probably a lot of other emotions, but Joey confidently walked into his school and held his head high. It was amazing to see him in his classroom, smiling, surrounded by his classmates.

Chris and I also ventured out of the house together one evening without Joey, and were surrounded by friends of our loving and loyal community. Not only did they greet us with warm smiles and big hugs, they made us feel like we continued to belong with them, even though we feel so changed by circumstance.

Throughout the week, Joey laughed, flashed that magnetic smiled, and began to use his silly humor to make us belly laugh!! It was simply little miracles happening all around us,all day everyday.

But today as I write this and slowly glance across the room, we are back at the hospital for our three night, four day stay… and that smile has faded and that laugh seems like a distant memory; as the reality of that long and arduous road ahead is of us. You can’t imagine what it is like to hear your child ask, “Why did God do this to me?” Your heart and soul are crippled and all the joy you have ever felt is ripped away.

But I am learning in these dark moments about gratitude….   Initially, it was difficult to see the good and give thanks.  When we started our journey, I searched and scoured my soul for any source of it, but I was so angry that my judgement was clouded. But now, every day, I am able to see exactly what there is to be grateful for…And every day, every moment, I am reminded by you and God that there is much, so much to be grateful for.

Last week’s happiness in our home, was an answer to all of the prayers and positivity that was and is continually being given so graciously and abundantly to our family, and especially to Joey. Even today, when Joey’s spirits are low, I remind him that we are grateful to be in remission and to be closer to getting healthier.

We are so thankful to each and everyone of you….thank you for supplying us with all of this support, love, and positivity. There have been numerous ways that people have supported us: meals, buying and selling bracelets and signs, water bottles, attending cycle bar, collecting supplies for Tomorrow’s Children Fund, attending one of the various fundraisers: or by donating directly to us via May Day Missions. Thank you for the beautiful cards and tokens of love and thoughtfulness that so so many of you have sent our way. Thank you for attending the prayer services that our church community has provided. We believe that God is listening.

With your unwavering support, we are able to focus on Joey and his health. We thank you and ask that you continue to pray for us…. your support and love have made miracles happen… please continue…we are forever grateful.

There are upcoming fundraisers to be on the lookout for too! On April 18th, bring your friends and family to Blue Moon in Woodcliff Lake and some of the proceeds will go directly to Joey. (Dine in or take out).






  1. REPLY
    Kelly says

    An attitude of gratitude changes everything! We love you!
    The O’Melias

  2. REPLY
    Jane Raffo Nocella says

    There are times when I read your updates, I cry tears of sadness . My thought s of “why” echo Joey’s. Today I had happy tears. May he continue to be blessed with good progress in this long, difficult journey. Sending love and prayers always.

  3. REPLY
    Diane Bellin says

    Your blog is so beautiful, inspiring, heart wrenching and real. You are so strong! You are all in our prayers all the time.♡♡♡

  4. REPLY
    Alice Bruno says

    What a beautiful letter (update). Our thoughts and prayers are with you while you, your husband and family keep up your strength for your precious son Joey. He’s an amazing young man that is surrounded by so much love and support. God bless you all. ????

  5. REPLY
    Tom gesner says

    Iam very happy he is doing good I will continue to pray for you all .

  6. REPLY
    Toni Aleffi Gotthilf says

    My daily prayers always include joey. I hope he gives you strength to ready the ship and look forward to a future with many days of play and smiles.

  7. REPLY
    Darlyne Kelleher says

    Lauren, Thank you for the beautifully written updates. I am overwhelmed with emotion as I read them. My prayers are with Joey and your family daily. I am amazed by your strength. Love and Prayers are with you!
    Darlyne Kelleher

  8. REPLY
    Claudia Duca McGuire says

    So glad to hear that Joey has improved.
    Joey and his family are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care, Joey, and know that you are dearly loved by family and friends who are rooting for you. And from aboveas we’ll, because God Is rooting for you too! ❤️

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