Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Registry in Honor of Maureen's Memory

Yesterday, in cooperation with the Red Cross and Be the Match and Saint Michael's Parish, we hosted a blood drive and bone marrow registry in honor of Maureen.  The turnout for the blood drive was fantastic.  Since it was our first blood drive, the Red Cross had set a goal of 34 units of blood; however, we collected 51 units of blood and could have collected much more.  We had to turn people away because the Red Cross ran out of supplies!  It was a great tribute to Maureen.  I had a great deal of help in putting this together from a wonderful group of friends.  The team of volunteers canvassed North Andover and surrounding towns putting up posters and put links on their Facebook pages, etc. and even set up a Sign  Up Genius for volunteers to sign up.  They also assisted on the day of the drive.  Many businesses throughout the area displayed the posters. Stachey's Pizza, owned by our friends the Hollands, kept us fueled with donated pizza!  I am very grateful to all of these dear friends who put in time and effort to make this a fitting tribute to Maureen's memory.

Three of the nurses who cared for Maureen at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Bridgett, Julie and Sam - came out to the blood drive.  It was wonderful to see them again.

As if it wasn't a big enough day already, it was also Emma's 16th birthday!  Emma's volleyball team came to help with the blood drive (they were too young to actually donate), and the coach, Ms. Pinkston donated a unit of blood!  While it certainly wasn't your typical "sweet sixteen" party, it was definitely a very meaningful one.  However, we did have birthday cake and sang "Happy Birthday"!

Maureen's mother Kay came in from Ohio for a visit, staying here from Saturday through yesterday, and my sister Gina also made a surprise visit from New York, coming to Emma's volleyball game on Monday and staying through this morning.  Maureen's Aunt Debbie, her cousin Margien and her cousin Joe's wife Jane, were all present at the blood drive.

I can't say, "thank you", enough to all of the volunteers who made this such a successful event.  Their efforts were testimony to how much they loved Maureen and wanted this to be a fitting tribute to her memory.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Visit to Beth Israel and Blood and Bone Marrow Donor Drive in Maureen’s memory.

On June 7 Emma and I went in to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to visit with some of the staff.  It was a moving experience to go back to where Maureen had spent so much time being treated for leukemia.  We visited 7 Feldberg (the hospital floor where Maureen was a patient) and the two clinic areas, Shapiro and Stoneman.  Julie Mitchell, one of the nurses who Maureen and our family became very close to, came in on her day off.  We also spent a good deal of time with Sam (Maureen’s admitting nurse on December 16, 2014 and who, with Julie, was caring for Maureen the day that she passed.  We also spent a good deal of time with Dr. Matt Weinstock, who cared for Maureen as a fellow and will become an attending physician in August.

We also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new center that Dr. Avigan (Maureen’s attending physician) leads.  In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Avigan is developing revolutionary new therapies for fighting cancer using the patient’s own immune system.  For those of you who have generously given to the tribute fund, this is where the money is going.  This center will be leading a collaboration of major medical centers throughout the country in developing a way to vaccinate cancer patients.  The method fuses a sample of the patent’s dendritic cells (the “teacher” immune cells, so I’m told) with a sample of the patient’s cancer cells to develop a vaccine that is readmitted to the patient to teach their immune system to attack the cancer.  It has shown success in a number of patients and the program with the other cancer centers currently has hundreds of patients enrolled.

Finally, we have set the date for a blood and bone marrow registry drive for Tuesday, September 26  Saint Michael’s Parish Center in North Andover.  During her two years of treatment, Maureen received hundreds of units of blood products (mainly platelets and also red blood cells) and she also received one stem cell infusion from a donor in Germany as well as two lymphocyte infusions.   We are working with Saint Michael Parish, the American Red Cross and Be the Match.  The drive will run from 2 until 7 pm.  Volunteers are needed.  And I’d especially like to get some volunteers who are medical professionals.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Guggenbergers, Panos’, Poleretzky’s and Turks, who hosted a beautiful BBQ for my 40th birthday (some people will tell you it’s my 60th, but I’m told that 60 is the new 40 J!  Fortunately, the weather was great.  It was a really wonderful evening that I will always remember.  We even had an accordion player playing “Happy Birthday”!  There was a roast as well, and I hope that no one believes some of the less flattering stories you might have heard of my past!

Thank you all.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Maureen's headstone in place

Yesterday Maureen's headstone was put in place at Ridgewood Cemetery in North Andover.  Some photos are below. The kids and I are doing well.  Joe is busy with school and is also having a great track season at Bowdoin and he will be going to South Korea in the fall for a semester abroad.  Emma is doing extremely well at school and is doing throwing events on the track team.  We also hope to get together in the coming weeks with some of the staff that cared for Maureen at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  Our thanks and love to you all.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Today Maureen's remains were buried at Ridgewood Cemetery in North Andover, MA.  We were joined by family and a handful of close friends.  The headstone will be in place in a few weeks.  I will take a photo of it once in place and post it on the blog so that if some of you want to visit you will know what to look for.

I want to thank everyone who has supported us over these past few years and wished us well.  We can all take some solace that Maureen is with her beloved sister Eileen and her father Ed.  I also want to thank those of you that have generously contributed to the tribute fund that I established in Maureen's memory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  100% of the funds will go toward research that Dr. Avigan and his staff are working on that we hope will improve the lives of future leukemia patients.

Thank you,

Jim Staudt

Sunday, December 11, 2016

An update:

I have learned that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) does not yet have Maureen's Tribute fund up on the site.  So, please just send a check to them with "Maureen Staudt" in the memo line.  Address and other info on my blog post from yesterday.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hi, this is Jim again.  Those of you who wish to make a donation in Maureen's memory can do so to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  I can tell you that they took fantastic care of Maureen and Maureen's medical team, led by Dr. Avigan, is doing great work both in the clinic and in the research field that he hopes will make a difference for future leukemia patients.

Donations can be made at or by check made payable to "Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center" with "Maureen Staudt" on the memo line and mailed to:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Office of Development
330 Brookline Avenue - OV
Boston, MA 02215

Be sure to indicate "Maureen Staudt" to assure that the money goes to her tribute fund.  This way the money can be accumulated in her name.  Depending upon the level of funding that we are able to reach, it may enable the money to be directed specifically to some areas - and particularly those that would help leukemia patients like Maureen.

Also, once I get my head above water I am going to look into starting a public charity in her name to help with further fundraising.  The outpouring of support for us to honor Maureen at the funeral was very moving, and I think that if we can keep this energy going to do some more good, it would be a great way to keep Maureen in our memory and honor her.

Thank you all for your support for us.

Jim Staudt

Monday, December 5, 2016

Maureen's Funeral

Today was Maureen's funeral.  It was a beautiful service.  Our pastor, Fr. Deeley presided, with Maureen's two uncles, Frs. Mike and Dan Crosby, and Fr. Chris Ohazulume from BIDMC concelebrating. Also, Deanna Bosco and Mia Gage - friends of Emma's - leant us their beautiful voices as cantors.

I want to thank all of our family, friends, neighbors and the Saint Michael community for the support and generosity in helping put this together.  It was a beautiful send off for a beautiful person that touched our lives in so many ways.  The Hollands were incredibly generous in providing food from their restaurant, Stacheys both Sunday afternoon and  for the reception today.  My sister Lorie acted as my "Chief of Staff" helping coordinate the various support activities from the army of people that were at my disposal.

A number of people asked for a copy of the Remembrance that I gave.  It follows below:

I met Maureen in March of 1991.  She was beautiful, smart, and so incredibly funny.   She had an amazing and infectious spirit for life.  We instantly spent all of our time together.  At first, my single friends wondered if they had lost me to her, but they soon realized that they had gained a fantastic friend.

Maureen had a gift for making life fun.  She loved people and loved to make them laugh . . . almost as much as she loved to make herself laugh.

Elvis Presley once sang of love, that only fools jump in.  But, as the lyrics of that song continue, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. 

That summer, returning with her to Massachusetts after visiting my parents, I told her that I loved her.

I still remember that awkward moment because - believe it or not - it was a few weeks before she reciprocated!

We were engaged in January 1992 and married on the Fourth of July 1992, only about 15 months after we met.

I wish that I could spare you the joke about losing my independence on Independence Day, but I just can’t pass that up.

Shortly after we moved to North Andover in 1996 Joseph was born.  We were blessed in so many ways – wonderful neighbors and friends, and this wonderful Saint Michael community.  My family adored Maureen and Maureen’s family welcomed me as a son and brother. 

On September 26, 2001, Maureen received what she always called her greatest birthday present, our beautiful daughter Emma.  We now had two incredible gifts from God.

As a mother, Maureen was more than loving.  She adored our children and engendered in them her love of life and her sense of family and community.

On December 16, 2014 I was on my way to take a train to New York.  As I parked my car in the route 128 train station parking lot, my client called me and asked if I had boarded the train. At that moment I didn’t realize how lucky it was that the call wasn’t a few minutes later.  My client had only learned a few minutes prior that the meeting in New York was cancelled.   On my way home I received a call from Maureen.  She needed to see a doctor and possibly head directly from his office to the hospital.

We were informed by the staff at the hospital that Maureen had an aggressive form of leukemia and might not make it through the night.  But Maureen’s will to live was simply too great.  For almost two years Maureen defied the odds, and she did it with dignity, grace and her wonderful sense of humor – the same qualities that caused me to fall in love with her back in 1991.

It was during these two years that she exhibited her courage as she battled for her life.  More courage than I ever imagined any person could muster.

 She never let others know her fears, and despite her grave situation, she would joke with the doctors, nurses and the aides, treating everyone with kindness and respect.  The staff at Beth Israel came to love her, and she them.

Despite her battle with leukemia, Maureen was determined to be present at many of our children’s important life events – Joseph’s high school graduation, when we took him to college, Emma’s graduation from Saint Michael’s, her first day of high school, Joe’s track meets and Emma’s volley ball games. 

She volunteered to work on school activities like the Saint Michael memory book.  She simply would not allow her disease to prevent her from being a part of Joseph and Emma’s lives.

Maureen even went with Emma to a One Direction concert in Foxboro. 

And, only a week before she passed, she was present at the annual Thanksgiving gathering that we have with close friends.

Today, Maureen is with the Lord and with her beloved sister Eileen and her father Ed.  She is also with my parents who loved her as a daughter.  Her spirit has inspired everyone who is here and many others who could not be here today.  She is deeply loved and missed.