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The Joe Garassino Foundation

The Joe Garassino Foundation was formed to pass on the legacy of hope and tenacity in the face of a rare disease as exemplified in the life of Joe Garassino. Joe’s 29 years were filled with a love of life that impacted so many people. This foundation is one way that Joe’s love of life may help others who are facing the scary battle of cancer feel not so alone.

Our mission

The mission of the Joe Garassino Foundation is to provide resources to those touched by cholangiocarcinoma, the rare cancer that Joe was diagnosed with for which there is little support, and to provide resources for those suffering from all cancers.  The foundation focuses on helping patients in the greater Waterbury, Connecticut area as Joe Garassino was born in Watertown, Connecticut.  The foundation also contributes to cancer awareness and research so that one day we can live in a world where we don’t have to lose our loved ones to cancer.

Examples of the types of support we provide include, but are not limited to grants for the following:

  • Cancer research, especially for rare cancers such as cholangiocarcinoma for which there is little support
  • Travel and lodging assistance during treatment
  • Medical and/or treatment expense
  • Service/comfort dogs for patients

About Joe

Joe Garassino grew up in Watertown, Connecticut and was in the prime of his life, 28 years old and living a normal and healthy life in charge of a team at Kforce in Stamford, CT.  Out of the blue he got a stomachache in June, 2012 and received a devastating rare cancer diagnosis of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile duct).

His cancer was aggressive and unstoppable and Joe died seven months later on January 20, 2013.  Cancer might have overtaken his body, but it never altered Joe’s indomitable spirit.  Joe was deeply loved by his friends and family and we knew he loved each one of us.

The Joe Garassino Foundation was founded in 2013 by his dad, Mike Garassino in memory and honor of Joe.  The Foundation’s goal is to support research, advocacy, and awareness.   It strives to be a beacon of light and hope for other families facing a similar cancer crisis by offering support from the local community.

You can download the Joe Garassino Foundation Mission Statement here