The Federici family and the E Street family have requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund. The fund's website is now up and running, where it is described as "dedicated to the research and development of new and effective treatments for melanoma through funding for additional clinical trials based upon Danny's melanoma treatments and other methods headed by Dr. Paul Chapman [at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center]. Our other objective is to raise awareness for this aggressive disease."
I met Danny before he got back together with Springsteen's band in the 90's and he was a very kind and gentle man who really loved his music and his family.
Today is the anniversary of my mom's passing away. She suffered with Diabetes (a terrible disease) for many, many years which left her legally blind for a while and in April of 2003---she was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer that quickly spread throughout her body.
I was fortunate enough to talk with her on the phone for a few minutes the day before she died and I was able to tell her how much I loved her. She was barely lucid yet somehow knew I was on the phone. "I can hear you, Johnny. I'm not in pain," she said. " I'm proud of you." " I love you mom," was all I could say. "Johnny, I have to go," and then she drifted off.
She was like many Italian moms in New York, marrying a guy named Rocky and raising two kids in the early fifties. She valued family above all, was semi-religious and was one of the many working class moms that handled the checkbook and worked a second job whenever possible to help make ends meet.
She had an inner strength about her that I never really understood or appreciated until I started to have my own physical problems and made the rounds through our health care system. She had to take insulin twice a day just to stay alive and endured many experimental eye surgery's in Manhattan and Johns Hopkins in the early eighties just to try and stave off blindness---which in the end was the one thing that scared her the most. But she always fought through it and lived many years beyond the conventional medical predictions.
She died comfortably with my sister and father (they were married for over 50 years) at her side as I traveled to Florida to see her. I don't usually write these type of posts, but I just wanted to say, "I miss you, Mom."
Josephine Amato RIP