SOME OF THE AMAZING PEOPLE WHO HELPED SAVE MY LIFE…
In January of 2014 I went to the emergency room, not feeling well. The next clear memory I have is waking up in early March 2014, in a hospital bed, with people looking down at me, wondering what happened. (What happened was a whole super-neat saga of bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, an induced coma, and lots of excitement that kept me in the hospital until April.) During the time I was down, my family and I received the most amazing amount of support and love from friends and family… it was, and continues to be, simply overwhelming. Cards, food, messages, chores, errands, money, prayer quilts, helping with kids and their travel needs, the list goes on and on. My friend Emily started a thing called “Team Tony”, and created a t-shirt with my image on it for people to buy as a fundraiser to help my family cover medical bills. That took off and, amazingly, almost 700 shirts were sold and a ton of money was raised. Everyone started posting pictures of themselves wearing their Team Tony shirts, and it was the most wonderful, uplifting thing in the universe to wake up in the hospital and have my wife and family share this amazing outpouring of generosity and love with me. I truly believe this massive positive energy helped me recover and heal, and it’s been the most life changing experience in the world – I’m so incredibly grateful. I’ll never be able to properly thank everyone involved, but this is a start. Here’s a collection of all the wonderful pictures submitted by wonderful people. To all of you who bought shirts or helped in any way – Thank You! And if you’ve got a picture of yourself in your shirt that’s not on here, send it to me, and I’ll put it up!
EDITED TO ADD: On May 21, 2021, I had a kidney transplant! After 7 years of dealing with kidney disease that resulted from the above Meningitis Saga, my kidneys had finally had enough and were failing. My amazing wife Jeanne Hicks-Caselli saved my life by donating one of her kidneys to me, and continuing her track record of being a hero in many, many ways! We were supported by SO MANY friends and members of our family, especially our amazing kids, my sister Gina and Jeanne’s sister Jackie, who took care of us both during our recuperation and recovery period. Our gratefulness and gratitude continues to know no bounds!