Middlesex – In the early hours of July 12, 2018, after a courageous fight with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a light went out in Middlesex. Daniel Paul “Danny” Garofalo, Jr. finally went running and became our guardian angel.
Born June 13, 2002, Danny was full of life the moment he was born. While his time on earth was brief, his contagious smile, infectious laugh and addictive personality touched the lives of so many.
A true fan of the NY Yankees and Rutgers Football, Danny was a permanent fixture at Highpoint Solution Stadium for every Rutgers home game. Danny participated in the annual Coach to Cure Game Day Coin Toss and perhaps, was truly their number one fan.
His final days here on earth were lived to his own terms. Danny created a bucket list and checked each one off his list as it was accomplished. He embodied the mantra “Make Every Day Count” and in the end, Danny DID Make Every Day Count!
Danny’s legacy will live on in all those he leaves behind. He is survived by his parents Jennifer and Daniel, brothers Timmy and Nico and his trusted four legged companion KD. He also leaves behind his grandparents; Mary Ellen Jahn and Michael and Donna Garofalo, Aunts and Uncles; Amy and Michael, Tim and Holly, Marcia and Carl and Michael and Christine, cousins Katie and Jack, Michael and Cara, Brianne, Dominick, Carissa, Annalise and many extended family and friends.
Visitation will be held on Monday, July 16, 2018 from 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Middlesex Funeral Home, 528 Bound Brook Road, Middlesex, NJ 08846. On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, everyone is invited to attend the 10:00 am Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish in Middlesex.
In lieu of flowers, Danny’s family strongly encourages sending a lasting memorial donation to any of the charities listed below; Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, 401 Hackensack Avenue, 9th Floor, Hackensack, NJ 07601 Attn: Team Danny 2019 (www.parentprojectmd.org/teamdanny2019 , Steps Together (www.steps-together.org/donate) or Jack’s Kids (www.jackskids.org)
This is Danny Garofalo. Danny has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). In the most simplistic terms, DMD is the most common, fatal, genetic disorder that afflicts boys in their early childhood. It is a progressive degenerative disease that slowly robs the muscles (including the heart and lungs) of their ability to function. All boys with DMD face a similarly short, bleak future that deprives them of their freedom, their independence and eventually their life by their early 20’s.
Danny should be in 7th grade but the school is providing home instruction at this point. For reasons still baffling the DMD experts, Danny has a more aggressive decline of DMD. His heart is in failure. Something that usually does not occur until late teens, early 20’s. It is vital that we keep Danny as germ free as possible so he doesn’t catch anything that will tax his heart more. Hard enough with two brothers, harder still with a whole school of kids.
Danny’s smile can light up a room and his genuine belly laugh is precious. He is sleeping and resting a lot at this point but when he is feeling well, we go to the park in Scotch Plains so he can swing on the handicap swing or take walks with his service dog KD and his baby brother Nico. He is most comfortable in his home surrounded by loved ones piling in his room watching a movie or playing a board game. He loves giggling with his brothers Timmy and Nico. And when he really feels good he loves walking with his buddies for a slice of pizza or watching a Rutgers football game. His favorite football team. He also loves playing Xbox and doing puzzles when he has the stamina to focus on them.