FAMILIES YOU HAVE HELPED
Liam Stitt age 19, grew up in Metuchen, attended Metuchen schools and graduated from Metuchen High in June, 2017.
Liam was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. On April 12th he had a chest port put in, bone marrow removed from his hip, a spinal tap and started his chemotherapy.
On top of his latest diagnosis, Liam has had many health struggles during his life, including autism, cystic fibrosis, lymphedema, immune deficiency, and inflammatory bowel disease. To treat these health issues Liam has been on a strict regiment of pills, oscillating vest, combination nebulizer treatment, as well as IVIG. He has to wear compression socks to help control his lymphedema.
Liam’s latest diagnosis has been a real shock to all who know him and his family. Liam has endured so much with his various medical issues, and this recent illness has added to an already heavy burden.
Despite Liam’s many health struggles, he brings happiness to everyone he meets, and even in the midst of this latest battle, Liam has maintained his positive and joyful attitude and disposition. Liam would love to attend college, but health issues have stood in the way. His older sister Kristiana graduated from Metuchen High in 2014 and is currently an English major at Raritan Valley Community College.
Liam’s mother, Alison Stitt, has been raising both Liam and Kristiana on her own since November of 2001. Liam’s father, Bob Stitt, passed away in 2010.
The family struggles financially and could use our support to help pay for Liam’s medical expenses. This will also help Alison to be able to take the time off from work to help care for Liam and bring him to his treatments.
Alison, Liam, and Kristiana are grateful for all the prayers and support they have received – and are determined to provide Liam with the best of care. In spite of the challenges facing Liam and his family, the support and the love of their friends and neighbors has been a source of strength and hope – and these, along with the joyful and strong spirit that have marked Liam’s fight – make for a recipe for hope and recovery.
Dimitri Tytla is the 16 year old son of Sophia Lashchyk-Tytla and Andrew Tytla, 24-year residents of Metuchen. Dimitri’s sister Olenka graduated from Metuchen High School in 2016. The Tytla family has been involved in the Metuchen community and schools, PTO, soccer, baseball, Junebug and other organizations.
Dimitri is suffering from the effects of chronic Lyme and Bartonella diseases. Born in 2001, he’s gone through the Metuchen School System up until 8th grade. He then attended Saint Joseph High School, where he played volleyball, worked the broadcast booth for ice hockey, participated in YAG and other clubs. Half-way through his sophomore year, the tick-borne illnesses he beat back in 2013 and 2015 resurfaced. He has not been able to attend school since mid-February. He is unable to walk, in near constant pain with trouble focusing, eating and sleeping. He's been visiting multiple specialists. He has been confined to a wheelchair and bed-ridden since May and currently awaiting next steps for treatment: in-Patient physical rehabilitation and a year's worth of IV Antibiotics and/or IVIG treatment.
His mother Sophia has gone on family leave from her job at Covance to help care for him, shuttling to multiple daily and weekly physical therapy and doctor visits. His father Andy started a permanent job with Prudential Financial in April 2016 (after performing contract/temporary work since 2009). Their daughter Olenka is in her sophomore year at Boston University.
The family appreciates the support from Saint Joseph High School including a dedicated prayer at the last assembly of the school year
(https://youtu.be/qCPwcKjY2GU). He is now registered at Metuchen High School as a sophomore but will continue home instruction until he is able to rejoin school as his treatment and/or recovery allow. He is especially grateful for his Metuchen friends and former classmates who have reached out to him and/or visited over the Spring and Summer months. Dimitri and his family appreciate the help and kindness from family, friends and neighbors who have visited to give him some company, or sent cards/gifts to cheer him up. His recovery is expected to be long but we pray he recovers and is able to walk again.
Dave Lepak was born September 1, 1971 in Annapolis, Md. In August 1993, he married Ellen Peistrup, and they moved to State College, Pa. when he started work on his doctorate at Penn State in 1994, earning his Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis on HR in 1998. Dave also leaves behind 4 soccer loving kids. Reilly 18 Addy 12, Henry 11 and Rowan 3. Dave Lepak and his family lived in Metuchen for almost 12 years as Dave was a faculty member at Rutgers university. During a lifetime of moves due to the pseudo-nomadic nature of being academic and starting out as a child of The Navy, Metuchen was a cherished place to raise children and build a life. Dave loved his years living in Metuchen.
Dave began playing soccer in high school, and when he was not teaching, he could usually be found on a soccer field, frequently surrounded by enthusiastic young people lucky enough to have him for a coach, including his three older children. Dave coached soccer in Metuchen, N.J. starting in 2005 with his oldest daughter’s team of five year olds. In 2008, he began coaching Metuchen Travel Soccer, and coached the girls’ team Storm for seven years, the girls’ team Strikers for four years, and the boys’ team Rangers for two years.
He also served as the president of Metuchen Travel Soccer Club. While in Metuchen, if it was early Sunday morning, he could be found at Myrtle Field, playing with a consistent group of soccer-loving friends, most of whom were his peers in terms of years of soccer experience. The banter between them during the games was lively and sometimes pointed but the trash talk was forgotten by the next Sunday morning as they would gather to play through all kinds of inclement weather, from thunderstorms and heavy rain to snow and sub-freezing temperatures.
Dave was also a dedicated runner. Friends and neighbors in Metuchen frequently saw him around town and he competed in several marathons.
In Massachusetts, Dave spent the summers of 2016 and 2017 coaching in the MA District Select Program. The team that Dave assisted with won back-to-back state championships, which had never been accomplished in western Mass. Dave was an integral part of the team’s success. Additionally, Dave coached two girls’ teams for FC Stars during the 2015-16 season and one boys’ team for New England Football Club in 2017. In a very short time, Dave made a lasting impact on the western Mass. soccer community.
Pam Craft, a widowed mother of four who has been battling Stage 3 Uterine Cancer which has metastasized to other organs, has been a Metuchen resident for 50+ years. In the last year, in an effort to fight the cancer, she has undergone surgery (complete hysterectomy) and multiple rounds of chemo and radiation. As a result of these treatments and their side effects (one of which is severe neuropathy), she has been her unable to work consistently and has incurred significant financial burdens. Due to these constraints, she was forced to relocate and is temporarily residing in an apartment in Milltown with the hopes of relocating back to Metuchen when she is financially able. She is the sole provider and her college-aged daughter lives with her while attending Rutgers. Pam, as well as her four children, went through the Metuchen School system. She was a active Soccer Mom at the high school, as well as with Metuchen Travel Soccer and FC Copa. When her youngest was a high school senior, Pam served on both the Project Graduation and Sports Banquet planning committees. She is also an active member of the St Lukes Church community.
Unable to work on a consistent basis, the bills are accumulating. Any financial relief would be extremely helpful towards her recovery. Pam continues to be humbled by, and is extremely grateful for, the assistance of the Fuccile Foundation.
Kathleen Cremone. On Friday November 10th, Kathleen Cremone suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She underwent several surgeries to repair the artery and subsequent complications. In the months following, Kathleen has fought hard to recover. She still remains in rehabilitation and continues to have a long difficult recovery ahead. Kathleen’s husband Ralph and her two children, Sephora and Brandon, are now facing many emotional challenges and financial burdens. They, tirelessly, remain by her side daily providing care, support and love to their wife and mother.
Kathleen is known throughout the community as an active participant in her children’s lives. She has always been their biggest supporter and number one cheerleader. Both children participated in Metuchen’s pop warner program, Brandon continues to participate and Sephora currently cheers for an allstar cheerleading program in Edison where she has remained extremely committed to her team through this difficult time. Brandon continues to draw which always brought Kathleen such joy.
As can be imagined, the financial cost for Kathleen’s care is insurmountable and continuing to accumulate. The Cremone Family greatly appreciates the support of the Fuccile Foundation.
Will Delgado. The Delgado family has resided in Metuchen for over 25 years. Angela and Will Delgado, both natives of Brooklyn, moved out of the city and into Metuchen to start their family.
On Monday, December 4th, 2017, Will Delgado (58) unexpectedly passed from a heart attack at JFK Medical Center in Edison, surrounded by his loved ones. William was a selfless man who lived and breathed for his family and will be missed dearly. Although he left too soon, the memories and time spent with him will be cherished forever.
Will Delgado was a “Metuchenite” through-and-through. He enjoyed the sights and sounds of the bustling little suburb and truly valued raising his family here. He could often be found with a smile on his face attending his daughters’ Metuchen Dance Centre recitals and his son’s Metuchen High School marching band performances.
Will Delgado was a true family man. He was genuinely happy when those he loved were happy. His optimistic perspective on life was unique, yet the logic and practicality he exhibited was undeniable. Will found peace in working with his hands, often fixing and building everything around the house himself. He took pride in the home that him and Angela had built for their family.
His wife Angela (50), is an adored bus driver for many of our special education students and after-school athletic programs in the Metuchen Public School system. Will’s oldest daughter, Jacquelyn (25) has been teaching in Phoenix, Arizona as a Teach For America Corps Member for the past three years. Synthia (22), will be graduating this May with a Master’s Degree in Special Education, with a focus in STEM, from The College of New Jersey. His youngest, Giovanni (18), an active member of Metuchen High School’s Marching Band, will be graduating from Metuchen High School this year and is aspiring to study business and music in college next fall.
We want to thank the residents of Metuchen and The Fuccile foundation for their overwhelming support. The stories and kind words of what Will meant to everyone are truly a testament to what kind of person he was. Let us live our best lives in his honor and cherish the time that we spend together for the past, present, and future.
Justine Rowe. The Rowe family has been part of the Metuchen community for the past 25 years. Justine and her husband have two children, Zach who is a senior and Matthew who is a freshman at Metuchen High School. Justine has been actively involved with the community serving on the PTO, Metuchen Little League, and as a volunteer for the Fuce5. She worked in the Metuchen School system as a paraprofessional, assisting children with special needs before moving back into the corporate world where she now works in the training department for a pharmaceutical company. Her husband Rick was heavily involved with the Metuchen Little League, serving as a coach and mentor to an amazing group of kids.
A seismic shift in their world happened in August of 2017 when a routine 6 month breast screening for benign cysts revealed two abnormalities. Biopsies revealed one area as clear and the other with a diagnosis of IDC (Infiltrating/Invasive Ductal Carcinoma). A week later, Justine underwent a lumpectomy and lymph node removal. Testing showed the area was comprised of an aggressive form of breast cancer. She completed chemo treatments in December and is now undergoing radiation treatment. Justine has an additional surgery and treatments that will continue through the fall of 2018. She remains optimistic for a positive outcome and holds close her mantra, “Be Brave.” Justine noted, “One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer – most of them will not have a family history. I encourage all women to make themselves a priority and make an appointment for their routine screening.”
Justine has had ties to the Fuce5 since the beginning, first as a participant and the remaining years as a course volunteer. Justine plans on being at her course location (Maple & Linden Avenues) this year to cheer on everyone who comes out in support of the FUCE5. Nancy and Justine have boys who are the same age. Jack and Matt have played on the Metuchen LL Tournament team together for years and will continue their love for the game in high school. “We are blessed that Nancy and the Fuccile Foundation have created an event born out of loss and turned it into a commitment to lifting up our community. I am grateful to our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, my surgical and oncology team and everyone who has reached out with kind words, generosity in all forms, and those who have kept in touch along the way as we navigate through this challenge.”
Roland Naranjo died very suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep on Wednesday, December 6th. He was 52 and in good health. The day before he died, he had taken his wife Vicki for her last round of radiation treatment for this year. Vicki is battling breast cancer and while radiation is now ending she is starting with a long stretch of chemo therapy. Roland and Vicki have a daughter Erica who graduated from Metuchen High School with the class of 2016. Erica is in her Sophomore year at Stockton University. Erica's college education was very important to Roland.
Roland was an active and involved dad with Erica's Girl Scout troop from the time Erica was in first grade until she graduated from Metuchen High School. Roland was one of the dad's who was always there to help, whether it was driving girls to events, teaching them first aid or hauling around crates of cookies -he was always willing to pitch in and brought a great sense of humor too. Roland and Vicki were also a huge support for Project Graduation for the Class of 2016 and were very active with the Golden Knights Cheer team where Erica competed for many years.
With Roland's unexpected passing Vicki is having to figure everything out while also battling her own illness, facing medical expenses, and tuition payments for Erica. She hasn't been able to work more than a few hours a week at her job due to treatment. Her medical coverage was under Roland and while she can keep COBRA, it's at a much higher cost. Roland's job was the primary source of financial support and benefits coverage for his wife and daughter.
The Naranjo Family is grateful for all the support of the Fuccile Foundation.