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Joseph M. Restaino ’08

Boarding Graduate from Charlotte, North Carolina

Joe was a member of the graduating class of 2008, where he was a member of Keo Kio, an Honor Scholar, and the recipient of the Campbell Award. After McCallie, he attended the University of Pennsylvania before being forced to drop out at the recurrence of his cancer. 

First diagnosed while a sophomore at McCallie, Joe founded the Bone Cancer Awareness Walk as a student, which he ran for two years before graduating. The walk was the starting point of what became the Joedance Film Festival, founded in his honor and run by his family until its closure in 2022, which supported rare pediatric cancer research at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

Through his initial efforts and Joedance, over 1 million dollars was raised for rare pediatric cancer treatment research. Over the years, the organization created an internship program, helped support a research lab, and funded numerous studies to help improve treatment for current and future patients.
 
An advocate for quality care until his last breath, Joe fought not just for better chemotherapy protocols but also for the dignity of the patients and the quality of their life during treatment. His work and the work continued in his honor through Joedance Film Festival is a testament to how it’s not the length of a life but how we use it that gives it value and meaning.
 

  • Alumni Achievement 2023