Joseph “JP” Suchcicki

When your 7-year-old son tells you they believe they have cancer so that another child does not have to suffer, you are in awe of their selflessness at such an early age. When that son, now 40 with a new terminal cancer that has pediatric markers, reiterates that same sentiment, you know he is something special.

That is our son Joe.

Joe’s dying wish is to make a difference by donating his tissue to research. With the incredible resources and expertise of Gift From a Child, we – his parents – can honor that request.

His first brain cancer was diagnosed in 1991 when he was 7. At that time, he went by JP and was a happy and seemingly healthy child just about to enter the second grade. One day, JP took a tumble and when asked what happened, he said he did not know which sidewalk to walk on. Turns out he was experiencing double vision, so a doctor’s visit was in order.

In mere days, our world was turned upside down. Our son had medulloblastoma, an aggressive tumor in the brain stem that, at the time, was considered terminal. (Due to research and advances in treatment, the five-year survival rate has almost doubled!)

Through a harrowing surgery, a clinical trial that included radiation and chemotherapy, numerous setbacks, more than three dozen lengthy hospital stays over a two-year period, and multiple trips to Toys R Us, we made it through to the other side. At the time, JP’s survival was considered a miracle. In fact, he was featured as a Miracle Child for our hometown hospital’s annual telethon.


JP came through the ordeal relatively intact. His hair color never returned to its striking strawberry blond, his growth was stunted, and he had a visible scar running down the back of his head, but he was ALIVE! He returned to being a happy kid who loved to tell jokes and annoy his younger sister.

Fast forward to 2023, and JP – who now goes by Joe – started having odd symptoms. They eventually were enough of a concern to visit the emergency room, where his second tumor was discovered.

In mere hours, our world was turned upside down again. Unfortunately, this time luck, or providence, was not on Joe’s side. Resection of the tumor was unsuccessful and multiple complications followed. After much debate between professionals, he was diagnosed with diffuse glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) grade 4 with pediatric markers. GBM is considered terminal. Joe’s options were limited, and he eventually entered hospice care.

We are told that Joe is somewhat of an anomaly for several reasons. He survived medulloblastoma when many children did not, and he developed a secondary but different cancer in the exact same spot more than 30 years later.

Joe’s selfless wish to donate his brain and whatever other tissue might be needed for research will, we hope, unlock some mysteries and lead to new treatments. That is what Joe wanted in the first decade of his life and the last decade of his life: to save more children from enduring what he had to.


We – Joe’s parents, Mike and Lani, and his sister, Kate – sincerely hope that you will consider supporting these efforts by donating generously to Gift From a Child.

Please Mention "Dedicated to Joe" on Your Donation

We Celebrate and Share Joe's Passion

Please Mention "Dedicated to Joe" on Your Donation

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