Who believes that things happen for a reason? Lorna Marcoux, the youngest of four siblings, thinks some things are more than coincidence. Working at Greenwood Emergency Vehicles for more than 22 years, she first met Joe Andruzzi at an open house event for customers. Here Lorna heard about the work of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation.
In September 2010, Lorna’s oldest brother David fell ill with persistent flu-like symptoms, including stomach pain and nausea. While at a family dinner only one month later, David discovered a lump on his stomach. After several tests, David’s doctors found a huge mass on his liver that was bleeding and required surgery as soon as possible.
Terrified about his upcoming surgery, Lorna asked her boss for Joe’s contact information. After a brief phone call, Joe came to visit David, who was surprised and shocked to meet one of his heroes. The family took pleasure in witnessing how easily Joe and David spoke about their experiences. To capture the moment, the family took several photos of David with Joe, his Super Bowl rings and an autographed helmet. Before leaving, Joe reminded Lorna about the Joe Andruzzi Foundation and suggested that she call if the family needed anything. From that day forward, Lorna’s family never left the house without Joe’s green cancer bracelets on their arms.
Although David’s first surgery in November was successful, the cancer came back aggressively in March 2011 and spread throughout his liver. David fought bravely until the end and avoided medications so he could be alert until hours before his body shut down. Sadly, David passed away on April 30th at the young age of 49.
David had been living on his savings and his treatment was expensive. Therefore, the cost of funeral services fell upon Lorna and her siblings, Cindy and Mark Nicholson. They wanted to give David a decent, respectable service, but that required utilizing their own savings. Before doing so, Lorna contacted the Joe Andruzzi Foundation hoping they might assist in paying a portion of the expense. To the family’s delight and surprise a check for the full amount of the funeral services was written within hours.
“We shed tears of gratitude to see a Foundation truly give back and do what it says. They really have no idea what that meant to us, especially as a wonderful honor for Dave,” said Lorna Marcoux. “I tell everyone to learn more about this Foundation and to support it. You never know when cancer will strike your family. We sure didn’t.”
David asked that his obituary read, “In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made to the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. We complied and no donation envelopes remained after David’s service. Jen even set up a link on their site for direct donations. Lorna hopes to host a benefit that raises funds to support David’s fiancée and the rest will be sent back to the Joe Andruzzi Foundation so others can benefit, too.