Joel Jean-Baptiste, 36, of Queens, NY, passed away from Astrocytoma brain cancer at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on December 17, 2013. He was laid to rest at the Greater Allen Cathedral of New York on December 21, 2013.
Joel was born on December 11, 1978. He graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation.
Joel dedicated his life to promoting mental health and creating a comfortable existence for people: following college graduation he provided Therapeutic Recreation activities at the St. Albans Community Living Center of the Veteran Affairs for groups and individuals (of the adult and geriatric community) with illnesses and disabling conditions to enhance their emotional, mental and physical well being, and psychosocial skills. He worked at Hillside Manor’s Adult Day Healthcare Program in Jamaica Estates, NY (2003 – 2008) as the Director of Recreation Therapy, and created programs with the Occupational and Physical Therapist members. In 2005, Joel obtained his Real Estate License and became a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, CBR with Exit Realty, where he remained active into the fall of 2013.
In addition to his occupations, Joel was a volunteer: he wanted to take part in rebuilding and restoring Haiti (the country where his parents were born) and went there with the “Haiti Missions Out Reach” to implement the “HydrAid Bio Sand Water Filter” near the homes of struggling families who had been walking for miles for clean water, daily, following the earthquake that devastated the country in 2010.
Becoming aware of his condition later in his life, Joel became active in finding a cure for brain cancer and in May (Brain Tumor Awareness Month) of 2011 – one year after his first brain surgery – he brought a team with him to Washington D.C., which he called “W.O.W” (Without Worries), to accompany him on his “Race for Hope,” an annual walk/run to help generate funding for research by the National Brain Tumor Society. Being the major milestone that his surgery was, Joel said, “No one is exempt from this and we should help as much as we can.”
The family of Joel Jean-Baptiste is thankful to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital for their assistance, and the many, many friends and family who showed their love and support during his transition.
Among Joel’s favorite bible quotes: John 8:12, Psalm 112, Exodus 3:14, and memorable personal quote: “Everything starts and ends with you.”
His contributions and his memory survive him.