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Remembering Joe Caruso: Your Memories and Photos

The community lost a man who inspired and challenged those he touched. Share your memories, photos and stories with the community.

Newport resident Joseph Caruso has passed away, after a three year battle with non-small lung cancer.  Caruso shocked and inspired those who watched him accept his disease with grace and successfully fight to prolong his life.

Through his own process of dying, Caruso challenged those around him to live. 

Over the past three years, he continued to train and compete in elite athletic events, in spite of the exhausting and debilitating side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

To mentally break through exhaustion, back pain and nausea, Caruso told Patch that he focused on breathing in fresh air and out with the cancer cells.  

“It’s about having a strong body and strong mind,” he said in an interview.

When it is often a struggle to get down the stairs, he said exercise might seem impossible, but the goal of competing in an event forced him to the gym.

Before his diagnoses, Caruso was an avid surfer and runner.

“Everytime I hear a wave crash .. the water glisten ..I know you [are] watching over us,” said Ali Dutra on his Facebook page.

Another friend, Jaccalen Grillo, wrote “Heaven's oceans are filled with much love today.”

Caruso first experienced pain three years ago and went to see a physical therapist for treatment.

“I was always exhausted, but I figured I had three kids, I was supposed to be exhausted,” he said.

Like many Americans with limited insurance, he was hesitant to jump into further tests until he was in so much pain that he could barely walk.  At that point, his physical therapist said he needed to get an MRI.

Shortly after, Caruso received the call that changed his family’s life forever; the pain was caused by several tumors in his back, which were malignant.  Even in stage-four terminal cancer, Caruso maintained positive, and was grateful for the additional time he had been given, not by the time he had lost.

Caruso urged people who have been diagnosed with cancer not to give up on life.

“Although it’s a scary journey, it’s not the end of the world,” he said.

Share your memories of Joe Caruso with the community. Feel free to share photos, comments and stories on this article.

Seagirl October 04, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I never had the privilege of meeting Joe but always admired his strength and determination. His story with his fight against cancer is inspirational. My condolences to his wife, children and the rest of his family. He fought a good fight and leaves a beautiful legacy in his family.
Michael E. Whitty October 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Recently our community has lost two special people, Michael Crowley and Joe Caruso. I had the pleasure to know both. The manner in which they lived their lives is in inspiration to all. Their is no doubt in my mind that it was a great love for their family that fueled their desire to live each day to the utmost. They will be missed. God Bless!
Kara Manocchio October 04, 2012 at 01:16 PM
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Caruso Family during this difficult time. Joe was an inspiration to all. May he rest in peace. Kara Manocchio, Wethersfield, CT.
Professor October 04, 2012 at 03:27 PM
One day you are rockin a Hawaiin shirt at the Chart House and managing events at Marriot, and the next you are fighting for the battle of your life. We all have an obligation to look after Joe's boys and let them know that we are looking out for them and the Newport community will always have their best interests in mind. And if they get out of line we will kick their butt.
Shawn westhoven October 05, 2012 at 10:41 AM
I got to swim with Joe when training for the MooseMan Tri two years ago. We were about halfway from fourty steps to the ABC when he suddenly stopped and rolled over on his back, smiled, and said "don't worry man I'm not gonna make you drag me in". I didn't know him well at the time so what he said next really got me caught up "you know this cancer has been more of a blessing than a curse . Sure or sucks but if I didn't have it I would have never seen the incredible good in people. The support that I get is crazy. It blows my mind. You could never imagine how good people really are until you get sick. It sucks that its that way but lucky that I have been able to see it - most people never do." " ...and them there's all this great water!" We were swimming again. He was awesome! He finished the race a month later.

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