Cancer. Just writing the word is difficult for me, but having a family member diagnosed with it shakes me to my core. Incredibly, there are people who’ve battled cancer more than once. My little brother Josh is one of these survivors.
Josh’s backstory is one many can relate to. He grew up in the small town of Gloucester, MA, a close-knit community where neighbors knew each other by name. Not long ago Gloucester mourned the loss of his Dad, Jim Movalli, a beloved public school teacher. Everyone gathered round in support of Josh and his family when Jim’s cancer diagnosis was confirmed.
Two years ago the same support was there for Josh when a biopsy of a simple mole revealed melanoma.
Josh underwent surgery and went on with his life.
Fast forward to last month, Josh began not feeling like himself. Then one evening he wasn't able to respond to phone calls and came home very late from work. He was confused, with a pounding headache, and had thrown up for no apparent reason. He had no choice but to go to the hospital.
The doctors discovered a brain tumor and emergency surgery was scheduled to save his life.
After surgery Josh was diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma, the statistics are not in his favor.
His latest scan indicates the cancer has spread to his brain, heart, chest, lungs, lymph nodes, and multiple other organs.
While Josh’s outlook is very heavy, he intends to fight with everything he has. If you knew my brother, you would see how laid back and unfailingly positive he is and has remained in spite of his diagnosis.
But for me, it is impossible to accept this reality for my brother. Josh is still so very young with so much more to do and give in life. His battle with melanoma will entail multiple procedures and many meetings with oncology specialists.
I’m sharing his story with you because I know how difficult this journey will be for him, his wife Suely, his eight-year-old son Jason, and all of us who adore him.
It’s hard to calculate the financial burden Josh’s family will endure between doctors bills and lost wages. He is unable to work and it is difficult for Suely to work when doctors say Josh requires constant care.
For those friends who have asked us how they can help Josh, please consider making a donation.
I will keep you updated as things change. I’m hoping this will be a place to share your stories of the many ways in which Josh has touched your lives.