Kind, loving, funny, loyal, hard-working
Anthony’s mother, Valerie, described him as “a loving and kind son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend.” He liked to play computer games, watch football, and hang out with friends. He often chased birds and always thought he could catch them! He could often be found lying on the couch reading for hours and hours. Anthony loved to swim, play basketball, and eat. He planted a vegetable garden every year and made meals with the fresh veggies.
The family spent summers at their vacation home in Ocean City, NJ every year where Anthony enjoyed riding the waves on his boogie board and going on the boardwalk rides. The family also went to St. Thomas and Disney World. Anthony was a good big brother to Nick, who was seven years younger. They went to the gym and the movies together, got ice cream, went sledding, and played basketball. Anthony enjoyed Sunday football parties with family and friends and was always the one to organize excursions with his friends.
Because of his high SAT scores, high school accomplishments, and volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity, Anthony was accepted to every college he applied to. He went to his top choice; Penn State University, majoring in finance. He excelled in his work in sales. His mom said, “He could sell ice in Alaska.” Anthony talked about moving to California at some point, but his immediate plans were to save money and move out on his own.
After his death, his mother heard many stories from those Anthony helped. One story from middle school was about a boy who had no group to be in for a project. Anthony noticed this and started a new group with him. They remained friends until Anthony passed away.
Anthony changed during active addiction from a kind and loving person to someone else. He lied and stole, lost weight, stopped going to the gym, and hung out with his brother. When the family was around, he wouldn’t interact but stayed to himself. Anthony was sober for eight months before he passed away. His mom has fond memories during that time of Anthony making Mediterranean penne with chicken, his favorite meal to cook. “He hung out with Nick again, doing the things brothers do together,” his mom said. “I thought I got my Anthony back.” But it was short-lived.
Valerie said, “I never truly understood the disease of addiction until years after Anthony passed away. I wish I knew then what I know now.” She is now an advocate for those with substance use disorder. She is on the board of directors of the How to Save a Life Foundation and often feeds the homeless and those with substance use disorders. She and Anthony’s father, Cris, started “Anthony’s Act” which advocates for a minimum of 90 days of inpatient treatment as opposed to the traditional 28-day programs. Valerie administers three Facebook pages Anthony’s Act, The Left Behind, and Still Say My Child’s Name. Both parents are in a documentary about substance use disorder, which is still in production. “I miss Anthony’s handsome face, his sense of humor, and his laugh… everything,” his mom said.
Anthony’s mother, Valerie Fiore, provided the information for this narrative.
October 11, 1989-May 31, 2014
Age 24-Lived with the disease of addiction six years