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Joe's wish leads to Carnegie Hall

“ It gives you something to hold onto when you don’t have anything. ”

- Joe

Make-A-Wish® Central and Northern Florida produced this video about Joe’s wish to have a violin.

After finding his grandfather’s violin, Joe taught himself to play the instrument. He loved its melody and would play it every evening after school.

At the age of 15, Joe was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of cancer. He embarked on a long road to recovery. It took ten months for him just to hold a pencil. Against enormous odds, Joe returned to playing the violin and, within four months, performed for his family and friends at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

Nancy P.

Hello Joe,( My brothers name) What a super brave, courageous guy you are and handsome, i might add. I love the Violin, in my opinion it's has the most beautiful sound of any other instrument on earth. My Mother played the Violin when she was in high school and was told that it is one of the most difficult instruments to play. I know that you have been through so much and that sometimes life isn't fair, but maybe it will make you strong for what you hope to do in the future. Joe keep on playing and keep the faith, hopefully i will come to hear you play one day on a concert stage. Stay well and my thoughts are with you. Sincerely, Nancy

June 08, 2013 - 5:52 PM


Wow! You are an amazing person! I cried when I watched your video. I've been playing violin for 5 years now. And how you taught yourself how to play! The violin is a very hard instrument to play and takes a long time to master. May God bless you, your family, and your road towards your musical life!

August 05, 2013 - 4:09 PM


Hi, Joe! My name is Brian, and I was also diagnosed with cancer at 15. (17 now, I'm 19 months in remission today!) Your story really touched me and sort of brought me back to that day just because it was the same thing. I thought I was just going in to get a non cancerous bump removed. And bam my whole life, and plans were turned upside down in just one day. And I'm also a musician, I play guitar and sing and it's my number one passion in life. But your story also has reminded me that life is too short and I should do whatever I want and not care what people think about me. Kind of live in the moment I guess? lol Something that I learned, but have forgotten a bit and needed some reminding. So thank you for that :) P.S. My wish was to go to Pompeii Italy, I'm a huge ancient history nerd and it had always been my dream to go to Pompeii. It was 10x as incredible as I could have imagined!

February 02, 2015 - 8:34 PM

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