Happy New Year to the True Heroes Among Us

Happy New Year, everyone!

If last night is any indication, 2012 promises to be a pivotal year for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. On behalf of the organization, I am both humbled and flattered to let you know that, during an in-game presentation on center court during the seventh game of the season, the Boston Celtics presented me with their “Heroes Among Us” award. Established as an initiative of the Celtics in 1997, “Heroes Among Us” honors individuals who have made an overwhelming impact on the lives of others.

While this award was presented to me, it truly belongs to all of you – patients, families, donors, doctors and volunteers – who help us achieve our mission to provide financial assistance to patients and their families struggling to cover every day costs, mortgage, rent and utility payments in the face of cancer care.

I accepted the distinction on behalf of all of the brave individuals, like Ethan Bairos and Samantha Bourque, who are valiantly waging war against cancer and showing courage in the face of adversity; in honor of the dedicated families like Julie and Steve Mullen, who work so hard to ensure their loved ones receive the best possible care and do everything in their power to help their patient get well; in tribute to those who have succumbed to the disease like C.J. Buckley who left an indelible mark on us and served as a major inspiration when we founded this organization; and in thanks to all of you who continue to support the Joe Andruzzi Foundation and our mission.

As I start another year with a clean bill of health – my fourth in remission – I feel so lucky to be here to be able to give back and help others battle this disease, but Jen and I could not do this without your help, so thanks to each of you for your help in extending our reach to ensure that the Joe Andruzzi Foundation is able to make an even greater impact in tackling cancer.

A huge thank you to the Boston Celtics for the tremendous honor and for hosting us for a phenomenal game. Though I’ve suited up to play in NFL stadiums and arenas comparable to the TDGarden, it was surreal to be on center court during an exciting NBA game. Go Celtics! Looking forward to Banner 18.

I’d also like to thank Jane Melchionda and Credit Unions Kids at Heart for nominating me – but really the Foundation as a whole – for the “Heroes Among Us” award. And lastly, I’d be greatly remiss if I did not also thank my lovely wife Jen for her tireless work on behalf of the organization.

Here’s to a great year that brings us one step closer to eradicating cancer.

Joe