Established October 18, 2015
Anthony Joseph Batchelor was a miracle baby born to parents who had been told there would be no children. Though losing his dad to cancer when he was 7 years old had a profound impact on Joe, he was surrounded by a loving mom, family and friends that provided an environment where he thrived. Five years later, Joe got a new dad, sister and brother when his Mom remarried.
Joe grew to be a lovable BIG bear. He constantly kept his family and friends laughing and smiling with his antics. Baseball and basketball with his friends always brought him joy no matter if they won or lost. He just loved being with them!
As a teenager, Joe faced the difficult situation of watching his Alzheimer's stricken grandmother, Nonna, fade away from a woman who always cooked his favorite meals and spoiled him rotten to one who couldn't remember who he was.
Life was good, Joe had a loving family, a girlfriend whom he loved dearly, and a job working with and caring for children that he was born to do. Then at a very young 19 years old, Joe was taken from us in a tragic car accident.
One of the last discussions Joe had with a friend before his car accident was about starting a new line of shirts where a portion of the profits were to be donated to Alzheimer's research in honor of his Nonna, whom he loved so dearly.
The AJB Foundation
Those of you who have ever lost a loved one understand the indescribable hole that is left behind due to their absence in your life. The continuous wondering of why they had to go? what was the purpose of it all? and how can you go on without them here?
After Joe unexpectedly lost his life in a tragic car accident, all those who knew him wondered these same questions. Joe was a beloved son, caring brother, loving boyfriend, and loyal friend. He had a sense of humor that could make anyone smile and a heart capable of so much sincere love and compassion. He was a peaceful guy, "a gentle giant," and had a way of making friends anywhere he would go. There was no doubt that he was going to do great things and help so many people throughout his life. But why did he have to leave us so soon? There is no way to ever possibly answer that question, and all we can do now is simply hold Joe in our hearts and go on giving to others just as Joe would have if he were here. He did not die for nothing and although his life on earth was short, it was not pointless. His ideas have inspired something so wonderful. By creating the AJB Foundation, it has helped many of his family and friends to fill the hole left in their hearts from losing Joe. This foundation is so much more than a way to raise money for Alzheimer's disease, it is also a way to continue Joe's memory and the love he would have given to so many more people if he had the chance to remain here on this earth.