Making the Team

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  1. kjdelzell says:

    Way to go Joe!! Praying for you!!

  2. Liza Crawford says:

    #JoeStrong #BeyondBrave #GBN❤️ Keep up the fight, were all rooting in the stands for you and your amazing family.

  3. Stacy Anne says:

    Way to go! You inspire me everyday to be stronger, kinder and a better person.

  4. Joolz Gritt says:

    Joe – you are a beautiful spirit & it’s an honor to call you family. You embody the phrase “fight the good fight,” my friend. You, Mira & aManda are such an inspiration to so many. You got this baby!!! #joestrong

  5. Anna says:

    Oh my. I have been reading and following awhile. Each entry is so honest and painful, sad but joyful. You two are sharing an experience that no one wants to share, but you are teaching so much to so many people. I was almost speechless at Amanda’s last entry and now yours. So much good in each and everything you say. I am PRAYING for you. I pray that you continue to gain some strength and weight. I pray for peace for you in this battle. I pray for Mira – a precious child whose parents love her so much. I pray for Amanda, as she deals with your illness. It is so obvious of the love you have for each other.

    I am thankful that you have great friends and family who support the 3 of you in so many ways. I am so thankful for your box of baseball memories!!! What an awesome thing to receive!

    Take care, you three. Keep on loving and living. I will keep on praying.

    (and I love your dog. I adore my two so much, too)

  6. Amber says:

    Very touching… So happy GBN got this to you! You really have touched so many lives…you don’t even know!

  7. Jacklyn Scarratt says:

    Your a Babe Ruth in my book Joe !!! I think of you often and you are a fighter and a inspiration !!!
    And I think you and Amanda are a great team. Maybe you didn”t make all conference in school but I bet you had to be the number # 1 teammate. I know I am one of your #1 fans and I am praying for you and your family and you so many friends. Jackie Scarratt xo

  8. Jessyka Gonzalez says:

    I’m literally in tears. I’ve been reading your blogs for a few weeks now. This past weekend my son told me about a fundraiser they were doing for a former Panther baseball player. Never crossed my mind that they he was talking about you! I may not know you but please do know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Please, please don’t lose faith. There’s a lot of people that are praying and sending you positive vibes. May the Lord bless you and your family. May He place his healing hand upon you.

  9. Maureen Ajamie says:

    Joe, I am one of those people you don’t know. I know Amanda because she went to school with my son Greg and they were in the plays together. Amanda left a huge impression on me as a very talented performer in those high school plays. I was sure we were going to see her on Broadway. So that is how I came to know you and your sweet daughter Mira. I have been following this blog for some time and not a day goes by that I don’t think of the three of you and send you prayers. Like hundreds have said before me you are truly an inspiration as in Amanda. You are lucky to have one another. And to bring in this precious child well that’s the icing on the cake. I know I have six iced cakes! I just want to say to you to keep fighting. I do believe in miracles and everyday I pray for a big one for you. I will keep sending you my continued prayers to you, Amanda and Mira. May God bless you and your family, Maureen Ajamie

  10. Laura says:

    This is awesome Joe. Hang in there. Thinking about you.

  11. dewittjenni says:

    My son is undergoing treatment for leukemia. He has a port (implanted IV device so he can get his medicine). He’s four and the docs said he could play t-ball. Was trying to decide if I was brave enough to let him play. Your post definitely helped his case. : ) I think of you guys throughout my day and send up prayers. Fighting together is better than fighting alone. Grateful I stumbled upon your blog.
    Jenni

  12. Wendy says:

    Following along from New Hampshire…and this post made me need to reply. I’m trying to teach my very competitive 8-year old that the most important thing about her soccer games is that she has fun (even when we all know we want to tell her winning is the most important thing!) But now I read this and I feel like there’s a million messages in here–thank you for sharing.

    Turns out, winning comes in different forms. Seems to me that box that arrived on your doorstep was a big W for you….and my hope is for complete and total victory for you and your family.

    #joestrong in NH!

    Wendy

  13. Sue Miller says:

    Joe we don’t know each other.but I know your Clark Family. You are so your dad.just know my sweet Joe
    Your Dad and Grandfather are your angles on your shoulder s just look .your dad is on the right one and your Grand father on the left one. We don’t always think life is fair .but know Joe god will never never leave you.
    You are such a blessing to all. My god bless you all
    Love you Sue Miller

  14. Jan says:

    I know that my nephew, Len Radtke, is a good friend of yours. Thank you for sharing your story, as sad and beautiful as it is. I wish and pray all the best for you and your family

    Len’s aunt Jan

  15. Chris says:

    You and Amanda have this amazing bond. I have never met you or your family, but I follow your blog. The strength you have shown to others is beyond words. PRAYING FOR YOU EVERY DAY. Stay strong.

  16. Erin helms says:

    Joe you don’t know me. I came across your story because of Facebook and because I am a GBN alumni. I just want you to know that your post made me cry. My closest friends are still the girls I cheered with at GBN. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know you Joe. I pray for you and your beautiful family every day. And although you weigh almost what I do now, You are beyond measure in determination, spirit and sheer will. You are a Panther in all the ways. God Bless!
    Erin Helms class of ’94

  17. Pat Tumilty says:

    Great work, it was always fun playing you guys!

  18. Jen says:

    What an amazing story, so many have felt that bond, that pang of loss, what an incredible inspiration. Thanks for sharing! God bless

  19. Jenae says:

    For such a big school, GBN is a remarkable place. So glad they were able to give you this! Panther Pride!

  20. Lynn Myhre says:

    Hi Joe. I didn’t meet you but I met Amanda at the fundraiser at Mark NeJame’s house. I am a colon cancer survivor. Let me tell you that the best thing ever for the nausea of chemo is regular Saltine crackers and Tension Tamer Tea but Celestial Seasonings. They sell it at all of the grocery stores. I don’t know how I could stand the nausea without it. If you want to chat with someone that knows exactly what your going through, feel free to message me on Facebook or email me at tvdaytime@aol.com.
    I am praying for you and your family every day.
    Sincerely,
    Lynn Myhre

  21. Mary Walters says:

    God bless you Joe. You are a hero in my mind. Prayers and peace are with you every day. Stay strong.

  22. Monica & Steve says:

    Joe, you are the essence of hope that is essential to fighting this disease! My daughter too loved baseball and managed the local high school team for three years. I believe you will win this fight, Joe based on your progress and amazing strength and support. Unfortunately, in order to heal from this disgusting disease, you have to be compromised to the point where you believe there is no return. I believe you will win this battle, Joe and you have a nation of cheerleaders behind you!
    From one of your biggest fans,
    Monica Holman (mother in law to Jacque Purdue-Holman who is daughter to John and Cindy-best friends with Beth and Steve Benck- Lauren Coffaro’s mom and dad!!!)

  23. DebSchwarz@mac.com says:

    Loved this post, Joe (but I love them all….). I’d say that you definitely had the fight in your to make all conference despite your batting slump. Glad they figured it out. Just another random thought (as I look at your gorgeous daughter in your arms in your photo). I know a guy who went through a similar thing as you. He had his sperm frozen before all his chemo in order to have children. If you did this, just watch out! (pay attention Amanda….) After he got through his battle, he and his wife went on to try to create embryos. They weren’t successful for years, but on their final try, the fertility doc told them to try using a surrogate – which they did. They also implanted his wife (hail mary?). Well – guess what? Both got pregnant with twins – and they delivered within a few weeks of each other. I’d call that a homerun! (or a triple play plus one?). I truly hope and pray that you will go on to have more precious Mira’s…and teach them to play baseball.

  24. Sarah Schatz says:

    This is how I remember you Joe :). Way to go!!!

  25. Coach says:

    Joe, congratulations on being named to the all-conference team. In my book you are an all-stater, all-USA & all-world baseball player & person. I have been trying to figure out how to tap into the foundation below to support the Clark Family fund. You’re post today is going to Anthony. As you can see he your lives are very similar – he beat the Big C. I pray everyday that you will to. Miracles happen!

    http://www.rizzo44.com/story.html

    Did I mention you are also on the most prestigious All-Seminole team?

  26. Becky Cunningham says:

    Joe – I don’t even know you or your lovely wife – its through a friend that I learned of your story. You make me brave every day as I face my ordinary struggles in life. You have inspired and touched so many lives that you don’t even know. Be brave and know that God is right by your side through it all.

  27. Lorna Donaldson says:

    Like many others, have been following your blogs for a while. You and Amanda’s writings are a wonderful reflection of who you both are, from the very start of this journey. You are strong, courageous and so very transparent. You both lay your hearts on the line. Your daughter is beautiful:) It is so very touching to see her lying beside you…. please know you are in my heart and prayers each and every day. According to Lamentations 3:22-23, The Lord’s mercies are new every morning – and that is what I ask of Him, and that He would give you that peace…that passes all understanding. I am a cancer survivor. To me every day is a gift from God. Make the most of today Joe, and I hope Amanda makes you dinner tonight.

  28. Darren Hince says:

    Hey joe…it’s Darren hince from GBN my mom just shared this with me and I wanted to reach out to you. I still remember when coach Franzen moved up the energetic, passionate sophomore to play varsity with us. I do not know your whole story but it sounds like you haven’t lost that energy and passion during your fight. I wish you and your family nothing but the best and a permanent end to your fight. #joestrong

  29. Maria Paradowski says:

    This made me remember all those fun summers, you, Mikey and the gang, playing baseball under their coach-your dad- with your mom, myself and the rest of our mom squad, cheering on our sons. Those were wonderful times. The moms are still cheering on their boys, who will always be All-Stars. This mom is especially cheering you on from the stands, hoping you will win against the enemy you are up against. Love to you all!

  30. Ann Williams says:

    Today before I read this I actually was thinking about that time. With the beautiful weather it makes me think of all of you playing baseball and what a wonderful proud time as one of the “moms” it was.
    I thought you were a wonderful young man then and now what a remarkable man you have become.
    I love you Joe

  31. Dan Romaniak says:

    Joe, I’m good friends of the Pope’s. You likely don’t remember you but I remember watching you and Frank on the baseball diamond. I just recently heard about your situation and was alerted about the posting you made about “Making the Team.” It was incredibly moving and one that I truly understand as I have played and coached for many years. Please know that I’m praying for you and your family. You have an incredibly supportive group or family and friends and believe in the power of prayer. I too battled cancer but did not have to go through the ordeal you have. Please know your strength is an inspiration to many. We are all rooting for you and know that there are so many people who are praying for you and your family. Your best at bat is awaiting you and I can assure you are a champion in many people’s eyes.