Jose Andres was diagnosed in January 2005 with a very aggressive type of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. It had metastasized to different parts of his body. Initially, the treatment worked. But five months later he developed Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), as well as a heart condition and kidney problems. He underwent radiation and chemotherapy, a cord blood transplant, and participated in a Phase 2 clinical trial.
Despite all the treatment, Joche did not get any better. With no additional available treatment, he earned his wings on September 30, 2009. He passed away at home surrounded by his loved ones.
Joche had a warrior's spirit and made an effort to conquer his fears, especially becoming at peace with his situation. He once expressed: “Even though this battle has been tough, and I feel like it took a piece of me, it’s taught many lessons - especially how to survive”. The constant physical struggle wore out his body but not his spirit. Life seemed interesting to him and tried to take as much as he could in the few years he had. His interests were numerous and varied. He liked to collect things, many things, but above all, he collected moments, thoughts, and memories. He liked to see the world, to enjoy it, and celebrate with friends with no particular reason. He had a witty personality. He was always quick to make a joke and laughed not only to feel good but also to make others feel good. To feel his way through life was worthwhile, no matter how short the trip was.
We started our crusade to conquer childhood cancer 15 years ago, in Joche’s honor. We continue in his memory now. We will keep our quest to help all the kids fighting this battle with the possibility of a better life, for better treatments, for a cure. Please join us!!!
Start your own St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event to raise money on behalf of our Hero Fund! You’ll be paired with a staff member who will walk you through every step of the process, and you’ll have fun knowing you’re doing a great thing for kids with cancer.
Register to shave your head and raise money for our Hero Fund at any St. Baldrick’s event happening around the world! Not finding an event near you? Register as a virtual shavee and shave your head anytime, anywhere.