Stephen Pecevich's Fundraiser:

Team Joe Andruzzi Foundation Boston Marathon 2013

Stephen's Photo

BENEFITING: JOE ANDRUZZI FOUNDATION

ORGANIZER: JOE ANDRUZZI FOUNDATION

EVENT: 2013 Boston Marathon

EVENT DATE: Apr 15, 2013

THE STORY:

My dear friends,

On behalf of The Joe Andruzzi Foundation, thank you for visiting my fundraising page. This year, in honor of my disabled daughter ("Sydni"), I will be running in the 117th Annual Boston Marathon. God willing, this will be the 16th marathon which I’ll have run for Sydni since her journey through brain cancer began back on January 14th, 2005, when my child suffered through her first of 14 subsequent brain surgeries starting at just two months of age.

I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. All the same, running for Sydni is the only way I know how within which to keep a promise which I made to her in March of 2005 when, at a mere four months old, her very survival looked [at best] bleak. At that time, she didn’t have months or weeks or even days to live; the doctors questioned whether my daughter would survive even the night. I dared not leave her side. You see, on that fateful evening (amidst my extreme heartbreak and gut-wrenching fear … whilst I was cradling Sydni in Room 906 at Children’s Hospital Boston) I whispered softly into her ear and promised my daughter that if she would just give me an opportunity to be a father, that’s all I asked for – an opportunity to be a loving Dad to her – then I avowed before God to love her no matter where the fates may take us – including if need be, being her legs to walk, her eyes to see and/or her hands to eat. Well, Sydni did her part by fighting strong and giving me that opportunity. She survived the night.

And so, starting back then to as long as I am able, I have aimed to keep my promise by being her legs to run. No, my angel on earth will never be able to walk, talk or even eat (other than through her feeding tube); in spite of everything ... Sydni continues to bring me great blessings, for she has gifted me with the truest form of genuine perspective by teaching me that there is great strength in weakness. I have learned through her struggles to embrace anguish and heartache – not to walk away from it - and burn it as fuel for every next leg of life’s random journeys down those many frightful roads less traveled. It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. The journey is the reward!

How might I accurately illustrate the tremendous highs and life-threatening lows of Sydni’s crossing? I can’t and thus I won’t. It is factually impossible because all too often circumstances change extraordinarily fast. A good stretch can be great for a few days or even a collection of months, only to take a sudden unforeseen turn for the worse before one can utter the words “what just happened”. Last week, for example, one day Sydni was laughing and smiling and melting my heart as only she can do; then mere hours later, she was being rushed to Children’s Hospital by ambulance while enduring through a brutal Grand Mal seizure, followed shortly thereafter (i.e., within hours) by her contracting pneumonia and the flu at the same time, followed by the need for emergency brain surgery in order to replace a shunt valve within the ventricle of her brain which was causing her to have a life-threateningly low heart rate. All this took place [without any warning whatsoever mind you] over a six day span. The trick to coping is to find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. For I believe that when you focus on your blessings, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.

As we all know, every tomorrow has two handles. We can either take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith. I choose to hold onto faith by remaining focused on every new tomorrow. Faith doesn’t make things easy but it sure makes things possible. Faith is also what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.  And of course, as Sydni has taught this most humbled father, I also make sure to appreciate each moment of wonderful that passes through my/our daily lives. There is not a day that goes by where Sydni’s extraordinary will to live, and her miraculous personality, do not fail to remind me of what has now become my core belief: that life isn’t a matter of how well we can navigate the roadmap but, rather, it is instead a matter of how well we can embrace the detours; life’s inevitable & unavoidable detours; His detours! Sydni was given no chance to live when she was two months old. At best, she was given a minimal chance at survival when she was 3-9 months old. The doctors refused to show any glimmer of “survival hope” past her making it to two years of age. But here we stand today, and Sydni will turn 9 years old this November 14th, 2013. As the calendar of life continues on, the innocence and purity within each one of Sydni’s smiles reminds me every single day that, despite the all too often stumbling blocks that I have now become accustomed to, life doesn’t have to be picture perfect in order to be experienced as a most magnificent journey!

Why do I tell you all this? Because I am SO deeply honored to also be representing The Joe Andruzzi Foundation (“JAF”). Joe, his wife Jen, and the entire JAF staff for that matter, embody everything that is good and positive and selfless and compassionate in this world. JAF makes life a little more tolerable for cancer families and cancer patients (cancer families similar to my family; and cancer patients identical  to my angel Sydni) who have been unwittingly chosen from above to journey down that “ less traveled road”. The Joe Andruzzi Foundation is committed to providing financial and emotional assistance to the broad community of cancer patients and families throughout New England, New York and New Jersey. JAF aims to serve as many patients as possible, continually growing their giving in order to meet the immeasurable need(s) out there. JAF believes that by establishing two avenues for grant distribution as they have already done [one for their Special Teams cancer institutions and one for independent patients] will and does best serve our community and JAF’s organizational goals. The Special Teams Grant Program provides financial assistance grants to cancer patients and their families referred to The Joe Andruzzi Foundation by one of their “Special Teams” cancer institutions. The Patient Touchdown Grant Program helps cancer patients and their families alleviate financial stress by providing one-time grants up to $700 to cover pressing daily living expenses. Patients and their families may apply directly to the Foundation for assistance – via phone call, letter and email – and may also work with their health care provider to complete the JAF application.

Speaking as a parent who has and continues to walk down that very same less traveled road, I “get it”! I understand first-hand how invaluable and crucial a role an organization such as The Joe Andruzzi Foundation plays in the lives of cancer families and cancer patients. Please join me in supporting such an instrumental and valuable cause. My goal this year is to raise $8,000 for this most worthy charitable foundation. Join me in bringing some shining of hope to the world of the down-trodden. “So shines a good deed in a weary world” (Shakespeare).

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you in advance for your consideration.

Warmest in thanks & most respectfully,

Stephen

Sidebar note: If I am going to welcome the world into my personal, very private and exceedingly emotional crossing, then I might as well go all in. As such, I would also like to share with you both a poem and a song which I wrote for my daughter Sydni. I wrote the poem a few days after that fateful evening back when I thought Sydni would not survive the night. I was inspired by a simple glance which Sydni sent my way that night. It is entitled "Please Believe Daddy" (see below).

The song I wrote is one of Sydni's favorites. Her smiles burst with happiness whenever I sing it to her. “I Dreamed We Were Dancing” is a true life accounting of an actual dream I had of my daughter and I dancing on her wedding night. Be it in this world or the next … I do believe that one day Sydni and I will indeed walk, dance, or maybe even run together … hand in hand.

http://www.dqrm.com/programs/I-Dreamed-We-Were-Dancing.mp3

 

Please Believe Daddy

Today as I held my daughter so tight,

A selfish thought arose.

What happened to my happy life?

This isn’t what I chose.

I thought if only I followed the rules,

Lending always a helping hand,

That my just reward would be healthy children,

Not bitter anguish and demand.

But then something special happened,

Just as my heart cast doubt,

This angel opened her tiny little eyes,

And her gaze began to shout.

Please believe Daddy!

That this is meant to be,

I know it’s hard to understand,

But trust and you will see.

Please believe Daddy!

That miracles do come true.

I see in your heart how very sad you are,

Have faith … God is with you.

Well tears filled my eyes as I pondered this sign,

How dare I question God’s way.

And as I kissed this Angel’s chubby little cheeks,

In a whisper I did say.

I do believe my daughter,

You’re an angel sent from above,

God didn’t forsake my definition of life,

He instead blessed it with love.

I do believe my daughter,

That, yes, this was meant to be,

I understand, I shall follow the light,

Through you … God allows me to see.

I understand, I shall follow the light,

Through you … God allows me to see.

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$7,923

MONEY RAISED
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • The O'Learys

    $100

  • The Zimmer Family

    $100

  • The Hughes Family

    $50

  • Chris Jepsen

    $100

  • Mike & Amy Savage

    $100

  • Marie-Ch... (Durnan)... and family

    $50

  • Kate, Kevin & Josh Anderson

    $100

  • Walter Bentson

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Siciliano family

    $100

  • Colin, Shannon, Madden, Garner and Walke...

    $200

  • The Paglierani Family

    $100

  • Cal

    $50

  • Higs Tickets

    $100

  • The Walkers

    $50

  • Mike Lynch

    $100

  • Ward Family

    $250

  • Susan Connor and Christin Callen

    $100

  • Sue Byrne Pietropa...

    $100

  • Neil Mara

    $150

  • PJ Nigro

    $50

  • Theresa Sullivan Bollas and Family

    $50

  • Anne BarrynMi...

    $200

  • Tommy and Katrina Stewart

    $50

  • Jeanine Padala Toes

    $50

  • Don MacNeil and Family

    $250

  • The Kiley Family

    $50

  • Kathy Watt

    $50

  • Fran Madigan

    $50

  • Don Frye

    $100

  • Heinick Family

    $100

  • Jac & Cady

     

  • Mary Ellen De Winter

    $50

  • W. Stephanie Gortz

    $100

  • Eileen Dunphy

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Masako Watanabe Teng

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Goose

    $25

  • Guillette family

    $150

  • Julie Zaccaria

    $25

  • Boston Park League Baseball

    $100

  • blair carroll

    $100

  • Rita Goffman

    $100

  • Bove Family

    $50

  • Patricia Sweeney

    $50

  • The Matera Family

    $100

  • Mary Ellen and Ezra Oyer

    $100

  • Scott O'Connor

     

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Chapman Family

    $200

  • Dr. David Herron

    $100

  • Noreen McNeil

    $25

  • Kevin Stenstrom

    $50

  • Corcoran Family

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Rob Friedman

    $100

  • Lanie

    $25

  • Anonymous

    $15

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Anonymous

    $10

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Tron

    $20

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Blaine Land

    $50

  • Scott Weistart

    $50

  • Because of RobCos(via DZ)

    $100

  • Friends of the IV CELG Board

    $100

  • Vickie

    $25

  • Casey Ford

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Costas Rodopoulos

    $25

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Steven D'Agati

    $500

  • Sean Baker and family

    $100

  • Bill H

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $26

  • Tish Canavan

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • T. Down Under

    $50

  • David Flanagan

    $50

  • Ennis Family in NJ

    $100

  • Ellen Madigan Newman

     

  • John T (Celgene IV board)

    $100

  • Anne and Chuck Furey

    $260

  • Joan and Mark Durgin

    $50

  • Schenevus Gallaghers

    $50

  • MARK BOUSSY

    $26

  • The Barden Family

    $50

  • Naughton Family

    $50

  • Matt & Steph Batchelder

    $50

  • Wendy Brown

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Laurie Larson

    $25

  • Lynda Pesavento

    $50

  • Helice

    $26

  • MaryAnn Woodford Klein

    $25

  • Bob Dougherty

    $25

  • John Hancock Matching Gift (Rob Friedman...

    $100

  •  
  •  
  •  
 

99% Raised of $8,000 Goal

Fundraise for this Campaign

Boston Marathon News on Twitter John Hancock on Facebook Go to the 2013 Boston Marathon Event Page

The Team: $173,602 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

JOIN THE TEAM
Fundraiser Title

JOE ANDRUZZI FOUNDATION

Amount Raised:

$27,095

Fundraiser Title

Catherine Beer

Amount Raised:

$16,874

Fundraiser Title

Marty Wells

Amount Raised:

$13,934

 

211% Raised of $6,600 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Stephen Parker

Amount Raised:

$12,400

 

124% Raised of $10,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Caroline ODonnell

Amount Raised:

$11,193

 

149% Raised of $7,500 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Rich and Deana DeSilva

Amount Raised:

$10,950

 

219% Raised of $5,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Bob Small

Amount Raised:

$10,026

Fundraiser Title

Stephen Pecevich

Amount Raised:

$7,923

 

99% Raised of $8,000 Goal

Donor Comments

John Hancock Matching Gift (Rob Friedman)

John Hancock Matching Gift (Rob Friedman)

DONATION: $100

10 months ago

Bob Dougherty

Bob Dougherty

DONATION: $25

12 months ago

MaryAnn Woodford Klein

MaryAnn Woodford Klein

DONATION: $25

Steve, Continued prayers for Sydni and your family ! 1 year ago

Helice

Helice

DONATION: $26

In honor of your daughter, Sydni, and in memory of those lost in Boston. God Bless! 1 year ago

Lynda Pesavento

Lynda Pesavento

DONATION: $50

Stephen, I am Joannie's cousin. I was so touched 1st by your account of what happened today with the tragedy, but then saw this and why you were there running. I want you to reach your goal. I have shared on my wall and hope you get to your $8,000+. All the best to you, your family, and your daughter! 1 year ago