Our Inspiration

Our Inspiration – Michael

On July 15, 2016, our lives changed dramatically. Our beloved son and brother, Michael P. Donatucci, lost his battle with depression. For us, the loss of Michael remains overwhelming, paralyzing at times. It’s incomprehensible that someone like Michael who was in the prime of his life, having achieved great success academically and professionally, surrounded by a loving family and loyal friends, would find his life not worth living. Unfortunately, that’s the dark side of depression. The struggle is real but often dealt with in silence. Michael’s struggle was no different. As an adult, Michael struggled with depression. As a child, from his early years, he struggled with anxiety. From the outside looking in, Michael didn’t appear the poster-child for anxiety or depression. Then again, who does? Anxiety and depression do not discriminate. And while Michael received professional help for his depression, only his immediate family and close friends knew about his illness. The stigma associated with mental illness forces a lot of those who struggle with it to remain silent for fear of being labeled weak. Anxiety and depression are not weaknesses. They are illnesses.

Amidst our grief, we knew we had to change the landscape of mental health so that those who suffer from these invisible illnesses would never feel alone, ever again. The bonds of friendship and community support helped us launch the mission of the Michael P. Donatucci Foundation, which promotes awareness of anxiety and depression in teens. Those bonds have sustained our mission through Michael’s Giving H.A.N.D. with the creation of our high school outreach program and adolescent mental health counseling program. As we honor and remember Michael, we also hope and pray that all that we do, through the foundation that bears his name, will make a tremendous difference in the lives of those who struggle with anxiety and depression. While the disease may be invisible, those who fight each and every day with mental illness are not invisible. We see you. We honor you. We want to help you. We are committed to sparing others the unbearable pain and loss we feel. There is hope.

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With gratitude, The Donatucci Family

Debra J. Foglietta

Michael’s Mother

Ronald R. Donatucci, Sr., Esq.

Michael’s Father

Stephanie Donatucci

Michael’s Step-mother

Ronald R. Donatucci, Jr.

Michael’s Brother

Ava M. Donatucci

Michael’s Sister