About Jaime

Jaime Moltisanti Cucuzza could be described in many words- but beautiful describes her best inside and out. Jaime was born in 1976. A New Yorker through and through, she spent her childhood in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Jaime was an intelligent woman, and poured herself into her studies at a very young age. She graduated from Tottenville High School in 1994 and was bestowed multiple academic scholarships and awards. Jaime graduated from Rider University Suma Cum Laude in 1998 with a Bachelor’s degree in history.

The same drive helped Jaime excel in academics carried over into her work life. She was very successful in her managing career at Thomson-Reuters. When she gave birth to her daughter in 2008, Jaime, always ready for new challenges, put her former career on hold to focus on her new career: parenting.

Jaime’s intelligence was balanced by her creativity. As a child and young adult, she studied piano and was also an exceptional vocalist. Later on in life, she discovered her talent in writing and used this as another creative outlet, serving as Editor-in Chief for her college yearbook. Her writing became a method she would later call upon to cope with her illness. Jaime’s blog, “Confessions of a Chemo Brain” documented her raw experience with cancer, but in true Jaime fashion, had a healthy helping of her keen sense of humor. Although writing the blog served as her own therapy, her true reward was knowing that her readers were deeply affected. They were left with the message that it is ok to laugh when you have cancer, and it is also ok to cry. Her words inspired patients and non-patients alike to just be themselves and embrace their feelings.

Jaime’s greatest gift was the ability to find humor in any situation. She always had a unique, glass-half-full perspective to offer even in the most grave of circumstances. And when her own words failed her, she still had an armory of dirty jokes and movie quotes to draw upon to get a chuckle out of someone who so desperately needed to laugh. She was so adamant that cancer would not have the last laugh that she wrote her own eulogy, complete with a typical “Jaime spin” that was read at her funeral (Jaime’s last words).

Philanthropy was very close to Jaime’s heart. Jaime would always look for any way she could help others. In the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, Jaime’s employer was graciously matching employee donations. So Jaime decided to donate her entire paycheck…repeatedly. She was constantly organizing charitable ventures, including the coordination of relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, which devastated Staten Island. Despite her own deteriorating health, she sustained her best efforts to make sure family members were able to get in touch with each other and that relief centers were getting the supplies they desperately needed.

Jaime saw the best in everyone- she was always your greatest cheerleader. When the chips were down, Jaime would tell you to keep going and dig deep. Her husband, John, coached fencing and lacrosse at Tottenville High School. Both teams adopted her as their den mother. They looked to her to lift spirits and calm nerves. They drew on Jaime’s strength, so much so that the girl’s lacrosse team coined the hashtag “jaimestrong.”

Jaime refused to let cancer change the person she was, even as her body was failing her. She continued to fight because she truly believed every day was a gift. It was a chance to give, to enlighten, or to make someone laugh. Jaime Moltisanti Cucuzza died just hours after her 38th birthday. Losing her at such a young age was devastating. We can only strive to embody who she was through Jaime’s LILAC foundation. We remember her for her generosity and warmth and we hope this foundation will allow that giving spirit to live on.

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