Joe Piazza was living the American dream; he had a wonderful, loving wife of 30+ years, three healthy and successful children, and had built a great career as a respected executive with a Fortune 100 company. His son, Joey, said, “Dad came from a very humble upbringing, which taught him that you always work for what you get and that nothing is ever handed to you in this life.” Joe took that mindset into what would become the toughest test of his life. On January 20th, 2009, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and immediately began a treatment plan which included a bone marrow transplant in June of that same year. Over the course of the next seven years, Joe would battle nearly every side effect possible from - from varying forms of graft versus host disease (GVHD) to a perforated bowel to over 15 bouts with pneumonia, Joe continued to fight for his life while maintaining a positive outlook.
At the beginning of Joe’s cancer journey, he and his family developed two motto’s that they pledged to live by throughout their battle. The first was “Many Hands, Many Minds, One Goal” and this motto seemed fitting as it really does take an army of people to assist with a diagnosis like AML. The second motto was “One Day at a Time” and this was something they consistently reminded each other of; no matter what bumps in the road they encountered, it was more manageable if they addressed it one day at a time.
Joe continued to live by these mottos throughout the duration of his battle. Day in and day out he always had a positive attitude and did his best to instill hope to others in similar situations. Unfortunately, after a seven year battle with Leukemia, Joe Piazza passed away from complications with pneumonia on April 19, 2016, at the age of 61.