Joe's Story

Joe Restaino was diagnosed in 2006 with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in his left leg. After a leg salvaging surgery, two different rounds of chemotherapy protocols and four lung surgeries he passed away in January 2010 at the age of 20.

He managed through all of his treatments to graduate as a member of the Cum Laude Society with high honors from The McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN. He was on the swim team, Captain his senior year, a Resident Advisor and received the second highest honor awarded to a graduating senior: The Campbell Award. Joe graduated with his class in 2008 while in treatment for his cancer. He went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania for one semester until his cancer recurred in December of 2008. His dream was to be a MD-PhD.

When his cancer recurred in 2008 he withdrew from UPenn and embarked on his adventures between surgeries. He learned to sail a 48 foot sailboat, traveled to visit friends and took a six week backpacking trip through Europe. His travels brought him home in September of 2009 when he made one more trip to McCallie for his last chapel talk and farewell to the school he loved. The chapel was filled with family and friends as well as the staff and students of McCallie.

While at the McCallie School he established the Joe Restaino Bone Cancer Walk. McCallie continues to raise money through their annual Mission: Remission Walk in Joe’s memory benefiting Atrium Health Levine Children’s. In July 2010 Joe’s family and friends established the Joedance Film Festival to further support rare pediatric cancer research at Levine Children’s.

Your donation is greatly appreciated and will 100% directly benefit Levine Children’s by supporting rare pediatric cancer research and providing the most advanced treatment to children of the Carolinas.

Joe's Chapel Talks

“We Can’t Go It Alone”, was Joe’s first Chapel Talk as a senior at McCallie in Chattanooga,TN. He had returned to Charlotte for chemotherapy treatments and surgery for recurrent osteosarcoma. In the winter of 2008, between treatments, Joe went to McCallie to deliver his senior talk. A little more than a year later he returned for his last Chapel Talk. This is the last time Joe looked like the Joe we knew.

Joe Restaino returned to the McCallie School on September 30, 2009 for his last Chapel Talk. Saying goodbye to his friends, peers and faculty of McCallie telling them “I Am Free”. Joe passed away in January 2010 from complications of osteosarcoma.