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The Joseph Nozzolillo Memorial Foundation Surpassed $40,000 in Fundraising for Research at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

The Joseph “Nuzzy” Nozzolillo Memorial Foundation added a $17,500 donation to their ongoing support of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE), raising their three-year total to $40,000.  The third annual Joe “Nuzzy” Nozzolillo Memorial Golf Tournament was held in September, following a socially distant outdoor “Rockin’ for Nuzzy” fundraiser concert over the summer.  The inaugural concert was successful and the foundation plans to make it an annual event.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, their fundraising efforts and annual donation once again surpassed the previous year.  In 2019, their 2nd annual golf tournament net $12,500, following a $10,000 donation from their first event in 2018.


Joseph Nozzolillo was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just after his 10th birthday.  He had a wonderful relationship with his diabetes care team at the UMass DCOE, although he had a very difficult time keeping his blood sugars within a healthy target range.  Joe ended up developing severe diabetic neuropathy and other health complications as a result of his diabetes.  He passed away at the age of 31. 

Joe (right) with his sister and brother

During the past two winters, Joe’s family and friends visited the UMass DCOE research labs in Worcester and met with some of the scientists.  They learned about the ongoing diabetes research at UMass Medical School in conjunction with clinical studies taking place across campus at UMass Memorial’s Ambulatory Care Center, where Joe was a patient.

2019 check presentation by Joe's family & friends to DCOE co-directors
Dale Greiner, PhD (left) and David Harlan, MD (red sweater) 
Michael Brehm, PhD, gave Joe's family & friends a tour of the
UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence research laboratories in 2018

“We had no idea all this cutting-edge diabetes research was taking place in Worcester,” said Joseph’s sister Leah. The money raised by the Joe “Nuzzy” Nozzolillo Memorial Foundation is put towards diabetes research at the UMass DCOE.  “We knew my brother’s care team was excellent, but the more we learn about the research, the more hopeful we are that we’ll one day see a cure for type 1 diabetes.”

More Diabetes Center of Excellence News