Honoring the Taken, Joe LaScola

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Joe LaScolaIt is so heavy to face the fact that my husband, Joe, has passed. Today is almost 24 months since his passing. Nights and mornings feel the same time to me – when I close my eyes, I open in the morning with bitter reality-feelings.

Maybe I would have been stronger if he died from a cause where he was ill for a long time, or if he had a bad lifestyle. But my husband had a very good health and had a healthy lifestyle his entire life. He balanced it by eating healthy food and routine runs. He ran several marathons for more than a decade. With all the positive things in his life, especially his health, it is still hard to believe he’s not with me anymore.

His brain aneurysm separated him from me – he was gone without any symptoms. And the most painful part is he passed his 50th birthday. He never ate his birthday cake I made, he never opened the gifts I wrapped, and we never enjoyed the candlelight dinner that I had prepared. Two months preparation has been just a memory of emptiness.

Since that day, I hated, I really hated his brain aneurysm. It caused the love of my life to lose his life and also caused our marriage to last only 5 years. It caused our dreams, our plans, and our desires to disappear just like snapping your fingers.

I have felt so heavy to face this fact, but there is no other choice I have, but to accept this bitter reality. My sorrowful is never ending. My tears are never dry. My longing about him is making my heart ache. But my hatred of his brain aneurysm still can’t stop this disease, so all I feel is grief.

With wet eyes (until today), I try to stand up. I searched many articles and scholarly journals to understand what a brain aneurysm actually is. Why did this disease attack my husband in less than two hours? He drove his car with me at his side to the emergency room in the hospital. It’s hard to believe a loving, caring husband, and an extraordinary man who had helped many people has passed away. Even after his passing, he helped others – he donated his organs as his own initiative.

I am thankful to have finally found what was the answer was to fight my hatred of this disease. It was doing something to bring awareness of brain aneurysms to others. With small capacity, and a wet wound still, I ventured to make the Joe LaScola Memorial Walk in Scottsdale, Arizona. This walk help fill me with remembrance of my husband’s kindness and passion – exercising and fighting to raise brain aneurysm awareness to my community.

When I first started putting this walk together, I realized I was unable to do it alone. I’m sure, with God’s guidance, that I then met Natalie Niekro, the founder of The Joe Niekro Foundation. We shared our tears and our bitterness for losing our beloved ones from the same cause. It was in that moment that I started to engage with the Joe Niekro Foundation to do the charity event. It will be the second year on Sunday, September 24th.

I know that what I am doing is just a very small thing compared to what Natalie Niekro and the team at the Joe Niekro Foundation have been doing. JNF has done tremendous things in the fight against brain aneurysms.

Even though it’s small activity, it is a positive thing I have in my life in my hatred of brain aneurysms, and I am thankful to be able to help spread awareness of this horrible condition.

We are honored to share the story of Joe LaScola and we thank the wife of Joe, Angelika, for sharing their story. We know how painful it must be to write in words. We are so thankful to have the Joe LaScola Memorial Walk annually and have Angelika as a part of our community.

If you’re interested in attending the Joe LaScola Memorial Walk, you can register here.

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