My brother was an incredible person. Philly graduated from North Tonawanda High School and could safely say he enjoyed his high school experience. Philly was either on the football field or following his favorite bands from state to state. He was never looking for a friend, people always gravitated to his infectious smile. Of all the things he was…one thing that he wasn’t was shy. He lived everyday like it was the last. Philly was passionate about his education and was perusing a degree as a RN. He knew how to show compassion and use his charm to make people smile.
Philly suffered an unfortunate accident that introduced him to the disease of addiction. After a long battle, he began living a life of recovery. His family lived this life with him. Philly often explained that addiction was a friend that would take every part of his mind, body, and soul. During his recovery, he focused on his education and maintaining his sobriety. He was a leader in the recovery community and would never hide his story. He was a pillar of strength and rebuilt his life. As we learn, part of recovery can be relapse. Unfortunately for us, Philly did relapse and the enemy known as “opioid” stole his mind and body.
Philly will not be defined by addiction. He was a handsome, loving, smart, charismatic, dedicated, passionate human and my first best friend. This disease stole his body but it will never take away his soul and spirit. He lives on in us every day and will never, ever be forgotten. As he often said, “It is what it is, until it isn’t.”
Love, Lisa and Family