“Sitting around feeling sorry for a child with cancer doesn’t help that person feel better and it doesn’t help find a cure. I want to be a part of a solution in any way I can. This is why I started volunteering my time.”
Joe Ferullo is a ChadTough Champion who has been volunteering his time for The ChadTough Foundation for more than two years. He first began helping in January of 2016 when John Beilein announced he chose The ChadTough Foundation for his charity of choice for ESPN’s $100,000 Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge.
Joe organized a group of people to vote every day and while it “wasn’t a big deal,” they generated a lot of votes and helped The ChadTough Foundation win $100,000 for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) research.
“It was such an easy way to get involved and we felt great knowing our votes made a difference!” he said.
Where it Began
Two years prior, Joe initially started his volunteer work when he met Eli Williams, a nine-year-old boy who was battling Medulloblastoma. Eli and his family traveled from Alabama to visit the Ford Flat Rock Assembly plant where Joe works so Eli could see how a Ford Mustang was made. Ever since Eli’s visit, Joe has been helping Eli’s Block Party for Childhood Cancer Foundation raise funds and awareness of pediatric cancer.
When Joe started following Chad’s story the following year, he was drawn to the Carr family and became even more inspired to help this local Michigan family. He said he began to look at life much differently.
“I would hear people complaining about having a cold, or getting stuck in traffic, or something else that seemed trivial compared to fighting a deadly disease like cancer,” he said. “It made me realize that we should not fret over small things when there are much bigger issues in the world.
“Families of young children who are diagnosed with DIPG deserve to have a fighting chance to survive – not to hear, ‘Sorry there is nothing we can do for your child.’ I decided I really wanted to devote more time to The ChadTough Foundation and be part of the awesome team raising research money to help find a cure for DIPG.”
Making A Volunteer Impact
In 2016 Joe donated items for the 2016 ChadTough garage sale. He also attended the garage sale and bought several items.
Last March, he devoted much more time helping with the “ChadTough Spring Cleaning Sale” hosted by Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Ann Arbor. Joe helped set up for the sale and stayed all day. Tammi Carr, co-founder of The ChadTough Foundation, was very appreciative.
“Joe is an amazing volunteer with an incredible heart,” said Tammi. “We know that we can rely on him for anything we need – he’s willing to drop everything to help us. He’s been a huge blessing.”
In addition to the garage and spring cleaning sales, Joe has volunteered his time at two RunTough for ChadTough events, and sold 50-50 raffle tickets — a portion of the proceeds benefited ChadTough — at a Detroit Tigers baseball game.
Through everything he has done, he has had the opportunity to meet other volunteers — something he especially enjoys.
“What an awesome group of people to be associated with!” he said. “This group is kind and generous for all of the right reasons. They don’t want attention or publicity – they simply want to donate time, money and/or resources to help make a difference in finding a cure for DIPG. I have an amazing new group of friends.”
A Special Gift
Joe’s big heart has helped the Carr family and The ChadTough Foundation in so many ways.
Most recently, he gave the Carr family a beautiful keepsake (pictured above) he made in honor of Chad’s “angelversary.” Tammi said, “We have met so many amazing people since Chad’s diagnosis … Joe Ferullo is one of them. Thank you for the amazing gift sweet Joe!”
Joe plans to continue to volunteer at The ChadTough Foundation events throughout 2018 and looks forward to hearing about continued progress in DIPG research.
If you would like to volunteer for The ChadTough Foundation, visit the volunteer section of the website.