In the picture above, Joey has his hands on my shoulders to the left. 

This is going to be a hard one to write. I say that because the person that I am writing to you about today is my cousin, Joey. It is never easy writing about someone that has an illness, but it’s even harder when you have to write about a family member that has it because you have known them your entire life and you love them.

My cousin, Joseph Baiocco, was diagnosed with testicular cancer last August when he was only 23 years old. At that time, he had a procedure to get cancer out of his body and removed his testicle. A while after the surgery was performed, doctors discovered that cancer spread to his lymph nodes and lower body. As a result, Joey underwent very intense Chemotherapy, and the tumor and cancer counts have gone down completely – we thought it was over.

Flash-forward two and half months later, Joey went back to the doctors for a follow-up, and it was discovered that Joey has a large tumor in his chest, between his lungs, and his lymph nodes are very swollen. It was also discovered that he his cancer counts doubled from the first time he was diagnosed.

Today, Joey is fighting this cancer with treatments, good eating, and prayer. In March, Joey started traveling from New Jersey to Chicago to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America to get his chemotherapy treatments.  Joey will be continuously traveling back and forth to Chicago for the next couple of months. He is expected to have surgery afterward.

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Like I mentioned in the beginning, it’s really hard to write about a family member. Joey has had many hurdles in his life, and he as conquered things that the average person couldn’t ever do – so he will conquer this. Family dinners and get-togethers are not the same when Joey is not there, and it’s noticeable. He always knows how to crack a joke, even when faced with the odds.

When Joey was first diagnosed with cancer, it was really hard to get him to stop working. He works in the construction industry where he could work anywhere from 50 to 60 hours a week, but today, he is no longer working and just focusing on himself and his health – rightfully so.

As you can imagine, Joey is putting out a lot of money to go back and forth to Chicago and much of the costs of the Chemotherapy, blood tests, scans, and treatments, are not covered by his insurance. As a result, his mother has set up a GoFundMe Page, and will be hosting a benefit this summer to raise money for his cancer fund:

WHAT:

PASTA DINNER AND SILENT AUCTION

WHERE:

TOMS RIVER ELKS LODGE

600 WASHINGTON STREET, TOMS RIVER, 08753

WHEN:

FRIDAY, JUNE 8TH AT 6:00 PM

$25 PER PERSON

PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT THE JOSEPH BAIOCCO CANCER FUND