the story behind the picture
"Children believe they have a voice
and with the voice
make people listen.
When people listen
they acknowledge that child's existence.
That child understands
one by one
to a larger picture.
That child has a voice
to change the world."
David Bartolomi Children
Michael James Cuccione was born January
5, 1985 in Burnaby, British Columbia to loving parents Domenic and Gloria Cuccione. Religion, being a large part of him and
his family, followed the Roman Catholic faith. Michael had 2 siblings, Sophia who was years older and Steven who was
3 years younger than Michael.
Michael was diagnosed with Hodgkin's
disease when he was only 9 years old. This was a very difficult thing for his family to go through, as are the hundreds
of other people diagnosed with cancers everyday in the world. After several months of treatment, Michael was believed to be
cured but then, as he went in for a check up with the doctors, they reported that the cancer had returned. School was an obstacle.
When Michael was in the hospital, he missed quite a deal of school but always managed to catch up and get good grades, it
helped that his teachers were very understanding of his situation.
During these difficult years, Michael
started a foundation, The Michael Cuccione Foundation, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. He and his Grandmother
wrote a book, he recorded a CD, and became a widespread public speaker.
Make A Wish foundation is an organization
which allows terminally ill children and teens accomplish something they have wanted to see or do. Michael was chosen by Make
A Wish and was able to go to California to meet the cast of Baywatch, which was his favorite show at the time. David Hasselhoff
liked Michael so much that he got to make a guest appearance on one of the episodes. He played Charlie, which was a real
life kid with a terminal illness who ended up passing away. Michael was a great success! He performed Make A Difference,
a song he wrote and composed.
After about 2 years of fighting cancer,
he was pronounced cancer-free. He answered a casting call for a movie on MTV that was bound to be a success. It was a boy
band parody called 2GETHER. Michael played the role of QT, the star stuck teenager who was girl crazy and suffered a terminal
illness of bilary thrombosis. That made-for-TV movie eventually gave birth to 2 hit CD's, a TV series, and millions of crazed
fans. Michael had a ball, traveling, singing, acting, meeting other big celebrities, and just having fun.
His mother spoke out about his role:
"No matter what he has ahead of him, whether it be illness or whatever, he is always upbeat and always jokes and laughs and
has a good time and enjoys every day. His character is sort of like that- he is terminally ill, he knows that his day is coming,
but he enjoys every day."
During December of 2000, Michael entered
the hospital and was said to had pneumonia in his right lung, he was expected to make a full recovery.
His Uncle said: "Every single day, you'd
go in and he'd have a big smile, thumbs up, 'I'm okay, it's okay, I'm fine.'"
Michael was not able to eat or speak
because of the respiratory tubes inserted, but he still managed to communicate with his family with notes and they learned
to read his lips and eyes.
At 9:45 pm on January 13, 2001 Michael
Cuccione passed away. It was only 8 days after his birthday.
His Uncle said at the January 17 service:
"But always, right until the end, it was 'Don't worry, I'll be fine, I'm a fighter,' as he's always been. He was always comforting
us, right to the end. Instead of us comforting him, he was comforting us, and his mother and dad, all the time."
Michael's body now rests at the Burnaby
Oceanview Cemetary and Mausoleum on 4000 Imperial Street.
*I gathered information from his book
and on the web at various fansites to type this brief description of his life.
I pray you'll
be our eyes, and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise in times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer, when
we lose our way
Lead us to the place, guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe.
I pray we'll find
your light, and hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night, remind us where you are
Let this be our prayer,
when shadows fill our day
Help us find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe.
where pain and sorrow will be ended
And every heart that's broken will be mended
And we'll remember we are all God's
Reaching out to touch you, reath to the sky
We ask that life be kind, and watch us from above
each soul will find another soul to love
Let this be our prayer, just like every child
Who needs to find a place,
guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe.
"...You're in the arms of the angels, may you find some comfort here."