Joe and Jen Andruzzi celebrate 15th Anniversary of Joe Andruzzi Foundation
Vermont Business Magazine Big smiles and Super Bowl rings were both in abundant supply Wednesday morning at UVM Cancer Center, with former New England Patriot and three-time Super Bowl champion Joe Andruzzi visiting with the Center’s patients and care teams as part of a road trip celebrating his namesake Joe Andruzzi Foundation’s 15th anniversary.
Both Joe — an offensive tackle who played for several NFL franchises and won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots across a decade-long career in professional football — and his wife, Jen, the Foundation’s president and CEO, spent about two hours meeting with Cancer Center patients and staff.
The pair heard firsthand the impact the Foundation — which helps cancer patients and their families pay household bills and has raised more than $10 million for cancer victims since it was founded in 2008 — has on the lives of cancer patients in Vermont every day.
“We are so grateful to partner with the entire team at UVM Cancer Center, to help Vermont cancer patients in need of financial support during their cancer journey,” said Joe Andruzzi, Co-Founder and Chief Engagement Officer of the Foundation. “It is such an honor to meet the patients we’ve helped. Hearing their stories fuels our work. Those brave patients inspire all of us.”
“Thank you to UVM Cancer Center for opening your doors to the Foundation today,” added Jen Andruzzi, Co-Founder, President and CEO of the Foundation. “Connecting with our health care partners in the oncology space to identify what cancer patients and families need and how JAF can offer meaningful support is at the cornerstone of all we do. Our visit today is to share not only what resources JAF currently offers, but how we can work together to do more in the future.”
JAF supports New England cancer patients of any age in active treatment for any type of cancer. The foundation offers grants through a variety of programs that range from funding for every day household expenses, extraordinary needs, food security, transportation to treatment, and wellness resources that can include patient and family outings as well as access to meditation and yoga apps.
Some patients, like William Gaudette and his family, receive grants that support multiple needs.
“We can’t thank Joe and the Joe Andruzzi Foundation enough for their kindness,” said Gaudette and his fiancé, Brenda Geraw. William was diagnosed in April with pancreatic cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy “These gifts – support for paying rent and food – they’ve taken a load off of us, for a while at least. What more can we say? We are so thankful.”
Since its founding in 2008, the Foundation has provided more than $306,000 in financial support for 464 patients at the Center, said Randall Holcombe, MD, MBA, Director of UVM Cancer Center and Associate Dean for Cancer Programs at UVM’s Larner College of Medicine.
“The impact Joe and Jen continue to have on patients and families in Vermont is incredible,” said Dr. Holcombe. “The Foundation’s support for cancer patients is truly unique and deeply thoughtful. It fills gaps for families where they need it – and that makes not just a financial impact, but emotional and mental impacts as well. The ability to focus on treatment is critical not just for our patients, but for their families and loved ones as well.”
A History of Cancer Patient Advocacy
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation is committed to providing help, hope, and a reason to smile for New England cancer patients and their families by contributing financial support when it is needed most. Founded in 2008 for former New England Patriots three-time Super Bowl Champion offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife, Jen, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation grew out of Joe’s own successful battle with cancer and the couple’s ongoing work with young cancer patients.
In 2007, Joe’s football career abruptly ended when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s lymphoma. Disease-free less than a year later, Joe and Jen chose to dedicate their lives towards solving the financial distress a cancer diagnosis can cause in the lives of patients and families.
Since 2008, the Foundation has provided $10 million in assistance for nearly 40,000 patients across the New England region, which includes Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. JAF is celebrating its 15th Anniversary with a ‘Road Trip’ to each of the states it serves.
Joe and Jen Andruzzi with Dr Randall Holcombe, Director of UVM Cancer Center. Courtesy photos.
About the University of Vermont Cancer Center
The University of Vermont Cancer Center is Vermont’s only not-for-profit comprehensive clinical and research cancer center. Founded in 1974, the organization is located within the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine and enjoys a clinical partnership with the University of Vermont Medical Center. Drawing on the expertise of more than 120 research and clinical members, the center works to reduce the burden of cancer in Vermont, northeastern New York and across northern New England, through research, outstanding clinical care, community outreach, and education.
The University of Vermont Medical Center is a member of The University of Vermont Health Network, an integrated system established to deliver high-quality academic medicine to every community we serve.
For more information visit www.vermontcancer.org.
Source: 6.21.2023. Burlington, Vt. – University of Vermont