Joshua Stabile: Embracing Resilience and Kindness
By Marina Kiriakou -
Josh Stabile, a beloved resident of Mamaroneck, passed away on April 23, 2023, at the age of 33. From his early days following his first heart transplant, our community rallied around him and his family. As a student in the Rye Neck Schools, he exemplified heroism through unwavering determination and resilience, all while sharing his infectious humor and teaching us to confront life’s challenges with determination and resolve. He was the beloved son of Allison and the late Vincent Joseph (1954-2009), a devoted brother to Christopher and his wife Kristinne Gumbayan, and a doting uncle to Vincent (3) and Violet (6 months). Josh’s spirit served as an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him. Always a true friend, he radiated kindness, support, and generosity, leaving an indelible mark on us all.
Josh's journey began with a diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy at age 4. At just 6 years old, he underwent his first heart transplant, navigating post-transplant clinics and the demands of immunosuppression. Despite these hurdles, Josh excelled academically, embraced activities like sports, theater, and the Random Acts of Kindness Club, and displayed a profound passion for the arts, music, gaming, and building. He enjoyed card games, juggling, puzzles, magic, and billiards, all while aspiring to become an elementary school teacher, earning acceptance into the Education program at the University of Delaware.
During his junior year in college, Josh faced new challenges with a diagnosis of Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder (PTLD) and thyroid cancer, linked to his immunosuppressive medication. Despite enduring chemotherapy and an intestinal resection, his health remained unstable. His introduction to acupuncture and massage at the Pediatric Integrated Therapy program at Herbert Irving Pavilion provided relief and led to his pursuit of acupuncture and massage therapies outside the hospital to ease anxiety and enhance his well-being.
In 2014, at age 24, Joshua successfully underwent a stem cell transplant. Though still battling seizures, he completed his collegiate studies at Pace University, earning his diploma in May 2017. Josh's unyielding determination led him to excel as a talented writer and sought-after editor, majoring in English.
Less than a year after receiving his diploma, his transplanted heart failed requiring a pacemaker. He was fortunate to receive a second heart transplant in September 2018. In December 2022, a 10cm tumor emerged, marking a painful and arduous chapter. Surgery to remove the tumor was followed by a devastating melanoma diagnosis two weeks later, with his liver and kidneys already succumbing.
Throughout his life, Josh displayed unwavering bravery and determination, never losing sight of his positive outlook. He believed in the profound impact of simple acts of kindness and carried his immense humanity and resilience as his guiding lights, nurtured by the challenges he faced. His influence on the community was deeply heartfelt and extensive.
In memory of Josh, the Stabile family has established the Josh Stabile Memorial Fund within the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. This fund serves as a tribute to the care Josh received from various sources and the empathy he extended to others.
The Josh Stabile Memorial Fund supports complementary and integrative health approaches for children, encompassing acupuncture, massage, craniosacral therapy, aromatherapy, Reiki, and meditation. These evidence-based integrative therapies complement traditional medical treatments, offering the same solace and relief that Joshua himself found in them. The fund's mission includes fostering research, education, and enhancing pediatric patient care through integrative therapies.
The Stabile family warmly invites you to honor Josh's enduring legacy and contribute to improving the lives of children confronting medical challenges through their support of the fund: See HERE.
Editor’s Note: Allison Stabile, an editor at The Mamaroneck Observer, is Josh Stabile’s mother.