Concetta Paradiso, CAF Board Member and Steadfast Supporter, Passes Away

January 3, 2011 – The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation regretfully announces the passing of Concetta “Connie” Paradiso, a CAF Board member for over 50 years and co-founder of the Long Island Chapter of CAF, on December 23, 2010.

Connie served as National President of the Foundation and mentored many Board Members who in turn took on leadership roles. She was a member of the Executive Committee and attended meetings regularly. In addition, Connie actively served as Vice President of Office Administration, in which capacity she helped develop the strong staff that serves the Board and the Foundation. Connie also continued to be a leading force in the local Long Island Chapter.

“The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation has lost one of its strongest, sturdiest and most steadfast leaders, and I will miss her tremendously,” stated CAF National President Anthony J. Viola. “There are not enough words to describe the immense contributions that Connie made to the Foundation. She and her husband, Edward, were with the Foundation almost from its very beginnings. They provided an enormous amount of vision and leadership for decades and played a prominent and crucial role in shaping the Foundation into the important and influential organization it is today. We are greatly saddened at this loss and extend our deepest sympathies to her family, including her children Peter Paradiso and Janice Cenzoprano.”

“There were many ways in which Connie instructed all of us,” added Gina Cioffi, CAF National Executive Director. “Foremost was through her great capability for raising funds and for protecting the investment made by donors to ensure that the best science and projects were funded. She was bold, intimidating and always right on point. You loved her and were drawn to her kind smile, but I most admired that she was a fierce advocate for the patients and this is a legacy that we hope to continue.”

“The lives of our patients were improved because Connie protected their interests,” Ms. Cioffi continued. “She initiated the incentive award program and fought to make sure that patients pursued their dreams and goals. Connie was special because even after the loss of her daughter Susan and her son Paul, her tireless efforts on behalf of those with thalassemia burned strong and bright. She simply was not going to step down or miss a meeting or not ask someone to support the Foundation because she was so invested in the mission to help other children. She cherished the support of OSIA, her bridge club, her many and varied friends, and all the many people who stepped up to support the Long Island Chapter.”

Connie & Ed
Connie and Edward Paradiso

A profile of Connie from an issue of the CAF newsletter LIFELINE can be accessed by clicking here.

We invite you to share your thoughts and feelings about Connie by contacting CAF at; we shall post your responses here on this page.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to CAF. (You may access our online donation form by clicking here.)

Connie & Family
Connie surrounded by her loving family

Thoughts About Connie Paradiso


The Board of TAG (Thalassemia Action Group)

“The TAG Board (Thalassemia Action Group) wish to express our grief in the passing of Connie Paradiso. Connie was respected and loved by all who knew her, and knew of her. She was a great lady. She has done so much for her children, and the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation. Connie’s contribution to the health and welfare of all thalassemia patients cannot ever be repaid. She will be missed, and cannot be replaced in our hearts. We will keep Connie and her family in our thoughts and prayers.”


Joseph Sciame
National Past President
Order Sons of Italy in America
Chair, Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations

It was probably about 1968, at the start of our Cellini Lodge #2206, Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), when I met Connie Paradiso. Once I became the Lodge President in 1974-75 and then thereafter as State and National President of the OSIA, she was always one of those special people who had encountered a personal family loss, but moved on with her life and the life of her family in doing good for all. She was a strong and vibrant woman of
the community at large, and made her voice heard on health issues tht needed to be addressed.

ont color=”#000000″>”It was because of Connie Paradiso and others, such as Nunzio Cazzetta, that I fought hard to get Cooley’s Anemia Foundation named as one of the national charities of the OSIA, which has helped raise funds over the years that are
in the millions of dollars. But it was Connie Paradiso who was the person who was there all these years with her smiles and encouragement and fortitude to continue raising the funds for the needed research that some day will bring about a cure.

“We shall all long remember Connie Paradiso, and may she now enjoy the rest with her God, knowing full well that she on earth did all that was and is humanly possible to help save the lives of others. To her family, friends and the CAF, she was indeed a good woman! May she rest in peace.”

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