Mike was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 1 ½ years old. This began Mike’s eternal battle with this dreadful disease. His childhood years were difficult for him, due to the testing and daily shots he had to endure. Mike never complained about the pain and exhausting nature of his medical responsibilities, remaining a happy and playful boy throughout his childhood.
As a teenager, Mike grew fond of music. He discovered his passion while teaching himself to play the guitar, completely on his own. He was an avid superhero fan, beginning to collect action figures, model cars, and other various types of memorabilia around this time. Mike was also a die-hard fan of the Boston Red Sox. He attended as many games as possible throughout the years. Music, superheroes, and sports were not Mike’s only passions, however. Anyone who knew Mike, knew he loved pranks. One never knew who was going to be the next subject of his hilarious shenanigans. His laugh was infectious, and even the victims of his pranks could not refrain from laughing for long. While Mike always made time to spread happiness and laughter, he never let free time interfere with his priorities. Mike was a hard worker, joining the work force at age 16, all while attending West Greenwich High School. He later worked at Nino’s Pizza in Cranston for many years, becoming a beloved member of their work family.
In 2006, Mike’s kidneys failed him, and he was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. His Uncle Skip, from Arizona, was found to be a match, and flew to Rhode Island to donate his kidney to Mike. Unfortunately, three years later, the kidney was rejected by his body, forcing him to undergo dialysis three times a week. He was just 25 years old at this time. Again, Mike never complained. He took the bad nature of this news and used it to fuel his fight. Shortly after his kidney failure, Mike’s heart began to give him trouble. These complications led him to receive a pacemaker. The heart problems did not stop there. It was later discovered that he had a pulmonary hypertension on the right side of his heart. Mike began to have breathing and digestive problems, along with facing the cruel reality that his bones could break very easily as a result of this condition. Despite these complications, and many other debilitating symptoms, Mike never gave up his fight to live life to the fullest. His strength, passion, and determination are extremely admirable, never letting even the toughest of times bring down his spirit. He lived his life with complete gratitude for each day that he received. Even with the challenges he faced, Mike continued to strive to make others happy. He felt his purpose was to spread joy to all who knew him.
No matter what obstacle presented itself in front of Mike, his number one concern was his family, especially his mother, Pat. He became Pat’s protector, always making sure she was happy and taken care of. They were more than just mother and son. They were best friends who shared every moment together. Mike was plagued by the fear of how Pat would handle life without him by her side. Mike shared the same sentiment towards his brother, Zac. He guided his younger brother through life until Zac was old enough to join him on all of his crazy and fun adventures. These two were certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Mike will forever be loved and remembered, remaining in the hearts of anyone’s lives that he brightened with his presence. Any support and donations will be greatly appreciated and will help Mike’s family give him the proper farewell he deserves.
- Tom Egan
- Kelsey Stanton
- John & Amanda Giroux
- Brittany O'Connor
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