Mickey was born in NJ on May 2nd, 1975 to her loving parents, Domenico & Angelina Pugliese. About 9 months after she was born, the sweet, blonde haired, blue eyed baby spent most nights fighting high fevers and nausea. Immediately, Domenico & Angelina went to doctors to find out what was wrong with their little girl. For more than two yeas, she was diagnosed and treated for various illnesses. Thankfully, they were put in touch with a doctor who researched many avenues in order to find someone with a similar case as Mickey. The doctor's search went throughout the US and led the Puglieses to a research institute in California that was treating these very few cases. In 1978, Mickey was diagnosed with Fanconi Syndrome and then shortly after that, was diagnosed with cystinosis.
At this point, Mickey's kidneys began to fail and her struggle became increasingly more difficult. In addition to kidney failure, Mickey began to lose her vision. She spent more than 12 years on dialysis and during that time became blind. Mickey became a part of a clinical study for a new drug called Cysteamine, which today we know as Cystagon. She was also a part of the clinical trial for eye drops to stop the accumulation of cysteine crystals in her eyes. Her medication schedule was, to say the very least, grueling. Her typical mornings began with nearly a dozen different medications and her nights ended the same. Due to her significant kidney damage, Mickey was at the top of the list to receive a kidney transplant. After 2 transplant failures, the Puglieses remained hopeful that someday Mickey would receive a successful transplant. On January 5th, 1994, Mickey had a third kidney transplant; this one, successful.
Mickey learned to live comfortably with cystinosis but she always remained hopeful that someday soon, there would be a cure for the disease. In September 2009, Mickey was diagnosed with cancer. Using the same determination she used to fight cystinosis, Mickey battled cancer with everything she had. After months of chemotherapy, Mickey lost the fight to both cancer & cystinosis and passed on April 18th, 2010.
Mickey's amazing spirit and zest for life was inspiring to so many people. She touched the hearts of everyone that she met and was always surrounded by people who loved her. We take comfort in all of the beautiful memories we have now that she rests in peace. Mickey's hope was for a cure for cystinosis. Mickey's Angels was formed to support that very hope. All proceeds from Mickey's Angels pins help directly impact the research attempts for finding a cure & improving treatment.
The Cystinosis Foundation of New Jersey would like to give a special thanks to Mickey's Angels..
Judy Torres, Mickey Pugliese, Mr. & Mrs. Pugliese (Mickey's Mom & Dad), Geraldina "Dina" Lotrecchiano (Our Inspiration for a Cure), Carmela Lotrecchiano (Dina’s Mom), Laura Chicelo, Maria Turano, Paul Chichelo, Giulio Picoliii, Rose & Antonio Trapani, Trapani Twins Grandchildren Rosina & Carlotta, Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Bio, Giuliana Vecchio, Maria & John DiMilia, Dr. Mary Jo DiMilia, Dr. Mary Ann McLaughlin, Talia Adamo, Prof. Maria Abate DeBlasio, In Loving Memory of Antonio & Angelina Abate, In Loving Memory of Gerardo DiBenedetto (Founding Treasurer), In Loving Memory of Gaetano DiBenendetto (Past President), In Loving Memory of Gerardo Lotrecchiano (Founder, Dina's Dad), In Loving Memory of Ralph Russo, Angela Roper, Kevin Seele, Anna DiBenedetto, Flavia DiBenedetto, Marcella & Nicholas Clatworthy, Theresa Venezia, Vince Lombardi, James Salters, Emilio Nardone, Rosalie Russo, David J. Ervolino, Rocco Montemarano, Barbara & Joe Dubluosi, Rob & Sue Selvaggi, Clair & Bob Johnstone, Tracy & Matt Noone, Kathi Flamingo. Mr. & Mrs. Michael Licata, Mr. & Mrs. Chris McIntyre, The Verga Family, Sharon Fernicola, Annie Basile, Michael Mastakes, Mr. & Mrs. Barry Motz, Mr. & Mrs. Giacomo Cocchiara, Catherine Zink,The Kosuda Family, Mr. & Mrs. Ignazio Pontoriero, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Marini, Marco & Leo Marzullo, Marco Lucci, Tom Pugliese, Mr. & Mrs. Michael Liloia, Pasquale Pontoriero, The Wolfe Family, Mr. & Mrs. Louis Criscuoli, Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Fecowycz, Generazio Associates, Mr. & Mrs. Russ Sherwood, Bonnie Sicora, Mr. & Mrs. Kevin McKeon, Karen Cirangle, Marilyn Tolerico, Dr. Penny Stern, Rita Ragone, In Loving Memory of Grace Ragone, In Loving Memory of Albert Viviani, Kris Haskins, Christina Haskins, Florence Rudicliano, Linda Lobosco, Melissa Haight, Pat & Lucrezia Freda, In Loving Memory of Geraldine Mellone, Brook, Nicholas & Michelle DiMilia, Joseph DiMilia, Connie Freda, Gabriella Chichelo, Serina Lombardi, Ettore & Maria Turano, Paul Apruzzese,
In Loving Memory of Michael Caggiano (Board Member), In Loving Memory of Dr. Nicolino DiBenedetto, Marco Lucci, Anna Marie Labisi, Matt & Toni Deis, Muffy Basile, Christian McGee, Delia Clemente, Nonni Pugliese & Fiamingo, Julian Paz, Guilio Bliadze, Mary Zisa, Eryn Porcelli, Marita Rodriguez, Geri Angelini, Michael Lotrecchiano Sr.,
Katie & Robert Cancro, Jason Torres, Kathleen Flores, Traci Stuve, Sandra Bunting, Luis Velasquez, Ida L., Traci Noone, Kathy Viso, Mary Ann Acierto, Christopher Uy, Giuseppa D’Amico, Carol Mesce, Dave Chichelo, Angela Paz, Mike C, Fr. Brando Ibarra, Msgr. Joseph Granato, Linda Lebesco, In Memory of Genevieve Ilaria, Maryanne Lubarsky, Maria Siniscalchi, Danielle Macaluso, Michael Iacono, Conrad Muscarella, Alberto Munoz, Castro Family, Mr. & Mrs. Michael Costa, Lina Gioiello, Zorina D’Emilio, Manuel & Mayra Alvarez, Chad Pereira, Christian Pereira, Chandler Moore, Anna Marie Vitale, Vincenza Sellitto, Miguel Patacios, Setff & Jim McCuskor, Baby Boy Spatar, Francesca Marino, Isabella Sergio, Marie Laurio, Marcela & Adriano Henriques, Tonia Frasca, Dora Kuznitz, Kellie Bogds, Vito Birardi, Susan Portere, Maria Fernandez, Josephine & Tom Pugliese, Jose & Micki Cebellos, Fr. Paul Donahue, Maria Rosania, Darren Rispoli, In Loving Memory of Leonard Pivnick, In Loving Memory of Katherine Marino, In Loving Memory of Fr. Luigi Zanotto