Welcome to my site!

2018-03-28T14:57:02+00:00October 20th, 2017|52 Comments

Hey, how are ya?

Thanks for checking out my new website. This is my first blog post, and I’m excited to share my story with you. Admittedly, I am also a bit nervous because I’m still figuring out my story as I go along.

You may be saying to yourself, “yay, yet another blog post that someone wants me to read, sweet.” I mean, how obnoxious of me to blast your inbox and computer screen with content about ME!! Well, many of you are friends or family, so you have to care. For those who do not know, I have a big personality. Get ready for a lot of me. Hopefully you enjoy my content enough to tell your friends about this TOOL from Massachusetts who is yet another believer that Tom Brady is the second coming of Christ, who has something to say, who offers a new perspective, and who has nothing else to do but tell you to keep breathing, keep doing, keep believing.

Here is a photo of my Frat buddies Bloomy (left), and Lav (right), and I somewhere in Bogotá, Colombia on a school trip.

Which brings me to why I have so much time on my hands – so much time that I write and write and shove my messages down the throats of “workin’ people.” That’s what I call my buddies who are making the most of their degrees by starting careers or continuing their education after college: workin’ people. I, on the other hand, have decided against the cubicle life. But it’s not because I’m evolved in some way, or think I am somehow better than those making a livelihood working a 9-5. It’s simply because I know that I have a metaphorical hourglass sitting on my nightstand, reminding me that I have roughly 10 years left of a quality living. Ironically, we all have this hourglass, yet most people don’t really think about it this early in life. I am only twenty-three and I know it is there. I want you to as well.

It wasn’t until my fraternity buddy, who was grinding at work but wished he was doing something else, said to me, “I am so jealous of you.” I looked at him, my able-bodied counterpart, and said, “You are jealous of Me? Come again for Big Fudge?” I began to see why he was less hopeful than I was. I also realized that so many kids my age feel stuck – even more stuck than I am in a motorized scooter. Somehow, I got the sense that maybe I could move faster than a lot of people despite my terminal illness. But this isn’t about faster, it’s about higher. And that’s what I want to talk about you all about.

As you have probably seen from my homepage, I am currently in a motorized scooter because I can no longer walk independently. This was not always the case. I used to be an athletic kid who played organized football, baseball, basketball, and lacrosse. I also played every backyard sport possible with my childhood friends who are still my best friends today.

One of the best sports-related memories I have is from third grade. Back then, I played football for Leominster Pop Warner, my city’s local team. In a game against Worcester, one of our rivals, Coach started me at defensive end. Earlier in the season, I had noticed during practices that other defensive players were just trying to tackle the ball carrier. That’s all good, no doubt. But I figured why tackle the ball carrier from the other team when you could also take the ball from him?

I know I am making it sound like this was an unbelievable, never-heard-of, strategy that a coach like Bill Belichick could only formulate. Not at all. I’ll be honest, That’s not the case. I am not the brightest bulb and I just figured it was a simple concept, that made sense: Take the ball. Give it back to our offense. Simple.

That is a photo of me in my glory days as the MONSTEROUS D-End that I was. (Thank God for puberty.)

So during the entire year and beginning that game, when I would to tackle the ball carrier, I would also try to strip the ball away. I got pretty good at doing that, and my coaches loved it. Whenever we were on defense, they put me in went into the game. During that game against Worcester, we weren’t as talented and were projected to lose by a lot. However, I finished with a bunch of tackles and 4 four forced fumbles because I just went and ripped the ball. My twin brother Sean – who you will hear more about in upcoming blog posts – played running back. My job was to strip the ball and play defense, so Sean could play offense. Sean scored three touchdowns that game, which ended in a tie, which was annoying. Nobody wants to a tie.

That’s just one memory I have of growing up playing sports, being physically active, and sharing experiences with my brother and close friends. However, everything changed quickly for over the next few years.

Sports, which my siblings and friends bonded through, became more difficult for me when I was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called Friedreich’s Ataxia (“FA”). Later I learned that FA would progressively diminish the muscles in my body, and gradually destroy my coordination and strength.

Eventually, I had to stop playing sports. Trust me, this was not by choice. Here’s a summary. The timeline went like this:

  •              Age 13: Motor skills diminished to the point I could hardly swing a bat, throw a baseball, or handle a lacrosse stick. I stopped playing sports.
  •              Age 15: Lost ability to run with coordination.
  •              Age 18: Gradually lost ability to walk on my own
  •              Age 35. Heart failure. (That sounds pretty gloomy, but I have plenty of time before that day, so you’ll be seeing a lot of me!!!)

I have been through many life-changing moments that I want to share with you. Each of these moments has shaped my outlook on life, which is very simple: be happy and enjoy your time on earth.

My hope – with my website and through these future blogs – is to share stories with you that help you understand my outlook on life and for you, which in I hopes may help you determine your own to change yours for the better.

I am slowly dying, and can no longer walk independently. But in many ways, I am more alive than most people I meet every day. I really hope I can help you to find your happiness. However, metaphorically I am now living and running.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this intro blog. I look forward to reading your comments!

Life is like football: why only go for the tackle when you can also go for the ball.

One Love,

Joey

 

52 Comments

  1. Steve Drury October 20, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I loved it Joey! Damn proud of you and happy to have been a spectator to what you’ve been able to accomplish. Thanks for the motivation, going out to win the day now! Best of luck,
    Steve Drury

    • Joey Mullaney December 12, 2017 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks Steve! Hope all is well!

  2. Alec October 20, 2017 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Unbelievable post, empowering and motivating but still able to show your sense of humor to everyone. I’m so proud of you!

    • Joey Mullaney December 12, 2017 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Love and Miss you.

  3. Sowmya Pelluru October 20, 2017 at 11:36 am - Reply

    A friend of mine sent me this blog post and I went through something similar as a kid and it really shows you how quickly life can pass you by and truly try to hold on to every moment and make it count. Although a stranger, I will say I connected with your story. Your attitude and positivity is truly inspiring.

  4. Jodi heffler October 20, 2017 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your an amazing young man. Look forward to reading more!!

  5. Allie Shakof October 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Hi Joey,
    As a Kappa Delta at Quinnipiac, I knew you, or of you, in college…you were definitely one of the most spoken of people. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and taking advantage of the opportunity to control your life (the reminder of it atleast), rather than letting life control you (like it controls the rest of us.) In many ways the choices you’ve made let’s you gain a whole lot more than a healthy human hopes to gain in a life time. Maybe it’s because you’re intentionally deciding to make every minute count, and I hope we all can do that.

    Well anyway, (although we don’t know each other that well) I just wanted to let you know that I think your blog is inspirational, and that it seems like you’re living a fulfilled life worth living!

  6. David Arsenault October 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Joey,
    You are an incredible, strong and brave young man. Thank you for sharing your story

  7. Lindsey October 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    What an inspiration! Keep fighting- can’t wait to read more! Wishing the best for you and your family!

  8. Lindsey and kristen richard October 20, 2017 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    What an inspiration! Keep fighting- can’t wait to read more! Wishing the best for you and your family!

  9. Kevin Bresnahan October 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Awesome stuff Joe, a true inspiration!

    Kevin Bresnahan

  10. Joanne lecuyer October 20, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    As a friend of your moms I have followed you and your siblings accomplishments and I am so inspired by your family . Reach for the stars because if any family can do it it’s yours . Good luck in all your future endeavors .

  11. Hayley October 20, 2017 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    I never got to know you at QU too well but you are incredible. I’m subscribed! Can’t wait to hear more of your story and see you inspire everyone more and more with every day.

  12. Paula Franciosi October 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Very well told story, Joey.
    You are a fine young man.
    So glad that we had the pleasure to get to know you in those glory days.
    Keep fighting you are a true inspiration!!!
    Paula & David Franciosi

  13. Joe Paolini October 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Joey you are a True inspiration! Your courage and positive energy resonates and I am sure many people will benefit from your amazing life experiences.
    Best, Joe Paolini & Family

  14. Twin Brother October 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Ready to run through a brick wall after reading that

  15. Stephanie Tocci Tidmore October 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Joey,

    You don’t know me but I know of you, through your family members and friends.

    You speak so many truths about life. Thank you. You are truly an inspiration and very wise beyond your years.

    I look forward to reading your future posts.

    Peace, love and happiness,
    Stephanie Tocci Tidmore

  16. Kelly McGrath October 20, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to follow along with you, Joey! I attended LA and while you were a few grades below me and we never formally spoke, I have always been so in awe of your spirit and positive outlook on life. It’s infectious to say the least, and I have no doubt you will accomplish all of the goals you have set out to achieve with this blog. Looking forward to your next post!

  17. Jack Wigglesworth October 20, 2017 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Keep crushing it my man!

  18. Michael Bresnahan October 20, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    You the man!

    Coolest dude in the family goes to……Joey. Sorry Ry and Sean, love ya, but he’s got you beat!

  19. Joyce October 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    I’m hooked! Keep it coming Joey!
    I am a CrossFitter at EXP and have worked out with you and your family.

  20. Kathleen. Andlogs@aol.com October 20, 2017 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    You share a unique perspective and replace Mt message we all need to hear. Thank you.

  21. Brenda Bodanza October 20, 2017 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    I love your outlook on life. I also am labeled with a Chronic Disease yet never let it stop me nor do i look at life any less. Keep sharing your beautiful story..xo

  22. Jackie October 20, 2017 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    You’re in inspiration. Keeping kicking ass and defying expectations! ♥️

  23. Gina Kelly October 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Well, for a young man, you are wise beyond your years. Your an inspiration to others whose "life" may not fit the standard profile. My hope is that you continue to be a positive and courageous defender and continue to share your journey as a method of therapy for you and others fighting chronic illnesses. Bravo !!

  24. Kim Amico October 20, 2017 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Loved reading your blog, and looking forward to more! Your sense of humor shines through in your writing as well as your outlook on life and positive attitude.

  25. Kelley thibodeau October 20, 2017 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Joey! Wow,young man…you have a way with words! You seem to accept the fate you were dealt with grace and dignity! You just never know….last year I had a brain bleed,then a stroke. I had a 1% chance of surviving each. But God had other plans….I have very limited nerve damage from the stroke. God does perform miracles! My thoughts and prayers to you!!! I would love to follow your blog..

  26. Joanne bowen October 21, 2017 at 1:54 am - Reply

    God bless you and your strengh with this blog Thank you. I hope everyone reading this should get a boost to keep trying

  27. Judith Cunningham October 21, 2017 at 2:06 am - Reply

    Thank you, Joey, for sharing and letting us other "working" and "retired" stiffs that our little b.s. problems are just that — b.s. Let me introduce myself, I am Grandma Judi (please note the spelling as that’s a teeny b.s. that I like to point out –lol). Pop and I are grandparents to Joseph James Cunningham who is a soph at Q and in your fraternity (boy, is he going to be ticked) and Joe has told us about you and what a great guy you are. Your writing shows just how great you are. Of course, I could quibble with you about Brady and maybe even the Red Sox, but since this is like a first "date", I won’t . I’ll close for now, because my beloved Bronx Bombers need my "couch coaching" and "couch cursing" (hence, my not "quibbling" tonight). Looking forward to hearing from you, and sending love and thanks for your wonderful "Self". Grandma Judi😘

  28. Lynn Smith October 21, 2017 at 2:33 am - Reply

    Joey, I am a friend of your mother from Emmanuel. I enjoyed reading you blog. Thank you for sharing your story.

  29. Brianna Gardiner October 21, 2017 at 3:17 am - Reply

    I found this shared on my Facebook feed from my cousins who live in Leominster, but I’m from Chicopee, MA. Happy to follow along your journey!

  30. Lori Banks October 21, 2017 at 3:37 am - Reply

    Joey,
    Life’s a journey and often full of twists, turns and unexpected obstacles. We are so impressed that you have embraced your journey with such incredible courage, grace, positivity, hope and even humor. Looking forward to following your blog and appreciative of your willingness to share with us. We can all learn perspective from you. Lori Banks

  31. Jonny October 21, 2017 at 4:02 am - Reply

    DANG… that got me right in the feels. Incredible post. So proud of you man!

  32. Joanne Robertson October 21, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Joe I admired you as a student leader at QU. I saw the post on Charlie’s FB page and look forward to following you. Best of luck with this new endeavor. Joanne Robertson

  33. Leigh Mannix October 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Joey,

    Thanks for sharing your blog with us. I am so looking forward to reading your stories. You are inspiration to me and many others. Keep up this amazing blog.

  34. Meaghan Goode October 21, 2017 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Third time reading this. Love ya joey

  35. Karen Pelletier October 21, 2017 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Amazing Joey. Wise beyond your years.
    Looking forward to all you have to say 😘

  36. SandraC October 21, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Joey, Nice to meet you! I am seeing this as a mutual FB friend liked your blog. Thank you for sharing your story. I echo what many have already said in that I find your words truly inspirational. You are facing life and the challenges you have been dealt with incredible dignity, humor and honesty. You have more "strength" than many can only hope to have, with far less issues perhaps, as you tackle the coming years with grace. I look forward to sharing your journey with you!

  37. Deanna Doucette October 21, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Joey,
    Thanks for the positive read. I am looking forward to reading more. Stay positive. You make the world a better place.
    Deanna Doucette

  38. Dallas Thibodeau October 22, 2017 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Joey,
    Very inspiring and eye opening! The athletic and competitive young man is meeting his challenge head on. He is using it and becoming a life coach on what’s real and important in life. Time we never get it back; enjoy the now, it goes quick.
    Thank you for caring and bring true respective to life.
    We’ll all be following your blog.
    Stay Strong, Stay Positive!

  39. Cathy October 22, 2017 at 9:53 am - Reply

    👍, great read. I don’t usually follow links on FB, usually just give it a quick scroll. Something caused me to check this blog out and I found/read just the positive message I’ve needed as of late. Thank you🙏🏻

  40. Lyn Spencer October 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Joey, I loved reading your blog and look forward to many more. You are an Incredible rich soul that God has blessed to inspire others. Keep on running and stripping that ball !!!! You are amazing !!!!

  41. Martha October 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Joey,
    So proud of you, and I really feel blessed to be part of your journey. Your inspirational words will no doubt give many people an entirely new perspective. Keep on…❤️

  42. Deb October 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    You are a true inspiration, Joey.
    Thank you for sharing your story; I will look forward to future posts to remind me how precious every day is….no matter the challenge.

  43. Sue October 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Wow. How perceptive on life. You have spoken with more maturity and understanding of why we are put on this earth, than most who have lived to be 90! You get it. Life is not about what we have, it is who we have and how we chose to live our life with the allotted time we are given. Our friends and family. Then it’s about what to do with our life that will leave a lasting impression on others. Your legacy, Joey will out weigh Tom Brady’s. your strength and compassion are to be commended and are almost too much to try to understand. How does a 23 year old stay so grounded and accepting of what he knows lies ahead?
    Thank you, Joey for bringing to light what really matters and for being so courageous.
    You are truly amazing and I will keep you in my prayers.
    Sue

  44. Peter Taylor October 22, 2017 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Awesome blog Joe! Will definitely be an avid reader on all future blogs. Inspiring and eye-opening.

  45. Brittany October 23, 2017 at 1:46 am - Reply

    This was beautiful and I look forward to reading many more!

  46. Jackie Ramondelli October 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Beautiful blog! You are an amazing young man. Looking forward to hearing about your journey. Luv and strength to you and your family.
    Jackie Ramondelli

  47. Jarlisa October 24, 2017 at 3:14 am - Reply

    I love the courage and strength you have within you and pray that you continue to Bless others with your joy and happiness that is within you. I Also Pray that God will Grant you favor to continue to live, grow, love and shine a light upon you and your family. Although we have never met before I bless you and pray that you continue to surround yourself with those who love you and know that you Are Highly Favored and God Loves you Unconditionally!!! 🙂

  48. Deb Wilson October 28, 2017 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Joe! I remember you when you were the age that you were in your football picture! You have grown into an amazing young man with an incredible outlook on life and I feel so privileged to know you!! You are absolutely right about living life to the fullest. No one is guaranteed any amount of time. We must live each day as its our last. I so look forward to your future posts.

  49. Mike October 29, 2017 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Joe,
    So very proud of you. The sense of humor and perspective on life that you are sharing with the world through your blog is a precious gift. You have always been an inspiration to those who have been blessed to know you and now your positive outlook will be spread to the masses. Keep up the great work!
    Love,
    Uncle Mike, Adam and Patrick

  50. Lona Grazier May 29, 2018 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    I just got done eating a platter of spaghetti before visiting your site. It sure makes the full feeling all that much better.

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