In November of 2007, when Joseph (or Joe P., as he introduces himself) was just over 3 years old, his parents started noticing his head was tilted to one side and his left eye was not moving quite like his right one. They took him to the emergency room for an MRI, where they received the earth-shattering news that he had a brain tumor. He had surgery a few days later, where they removed about one-third of the tumor, and from the biopsy they found out it was a grade 3 astrocytoma. They later found out at St. Jude’s that it was actually a grade 4 astrocytoma called Glioblastoma Multiforme in his cerebellum and brain stem.
Joseph underwent a second surgery where they were able to remove most of the rest of the tumor, and he slowly learned to walk again and regained his buoyant personality. He also went through 6 weeks of radiation and several clinical trials before he passed away on the day after his fourth birthday. Joseph was a boisterous little boy who loved to ride his bike, play with his sister, go swimming and of course, play cars!