Former Football Player And Cancer Survivor Now Helps Patients And Families
Founded by former New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen in 2008, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation grew out of Andruzzi’s own successful battle with cancer and the couple’s ongoing work with young cancer patients.
Andruzzi's football career ended in 2007 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Burkitt’s lymphoma. He is now cancer-free, but a new passion grew from his own cancer experience: helping other cancer patients and their families. After witnessing firsthand the stress cancer can cause, the Andruzzis created a foundation to help cancer patients and their families meet life’s day-to-day challenges. And the Foundation’s (Up)Beat cancer initiative strives to keep families positive by organizing outings and visits with New England’s professional athletes.
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation provides financial assistance to cancer patients and families, helping them focus on recovery, not bills. It also funds cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital, building on the Andruzzis’ longstanding commitment to cutting-edge pediatric brain cancer research. In 2003, the Andruzzis founded the C.J. Buckley Cancer Research Fund at Children’s in memory of their young friend Buckley, who suffered a brain tumor. Buckley’s spirit inspired the Andruzzis to support the innovative work of Dr. Mark Kieran, Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Children’s, whose work centers on the molecular nature of pediatric brain tumors, novel therapies, and surgical alternatives, with the aim of making treatment more accessible to all.