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Carl's Blog

My speech from the 2006 Golf Outing 9/27/2006

Hi! All of you are my friends and supporters… I will never forget what you have done for me….

I will now briefly, tell you a little about myself and some of my thoughts…….

I am now living my fourth year as a quadriplegic…it is not the life I dreamed of, growing up on the athletic fields of my youth.

I often have thoughts of what life would be like if I had not been tragically injured on February 22, 2003.

Where would I be athletically? Who would be my girl friend? What would life be like if this horrific accident had not taken place?

I realize that dwelling on these thoughts might not be healthy, but dreaming and hoping with the proper perspective is, I think, healthy and productive.

My faith that some day their will be a cure for me, is in tact. The greatest hope for me is stem cell research and in particular embryonic stem cell research. It is a very misunderstood scientific issue which has been bottled up in political and religious debates that are off base, and hurt all the scientific research that is trying to help central nervous system diseases.

I am in my third year at Villanova majoring in finance. I can not imagine any place being better for me or doing more for me. I give special thanks to the entire staff at Villanova. I have grown as a student and a man in the past three years.

Recently I have been thinking about continuing my education by pursuing a law degree. I know this will be another challenge, but I feel I am getting the background needed as an undergrad at Villanova to meet all these challenges.

I have many dreams for the future. I hope to be successful in business, a productive citizen, and have a loving wife with many kids and all of this weather I am in a wheel chair or not.

I would like to thank my family my cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers and sister for being so special and supportive of me. I include Uncle Pat and his family as my family as well.

All my friends and supporters who have come to these special fund raising events, thank you is not enough. Special thanks to all the men and women from Morgan Stanley who have supported me all these years and hopefully will continue into the future. Please keep in touch with me through my website

I have seen many people who have been injured in the same way as me, and mainly because of lack of finances, live a totally different life than me. Thanks to my parents, who are so special, and are at my side whenever needed….. nothing I need is out of the question when it comes to my parents. They are unique and special and I love them.

I have been lucky enough to meet many beautiful people in my life. Helpful, caring, and genuinely good people. None of them surpass my friends who work this event they are true heroes to me and my family. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

The last thing I would like to say is that I’m still trying to figure out what makes people like Jose Rivera tick. Why did he do this for me and my family? Was he born with that heart or is it something that he has developed? The answers! I have not figured out yet ...all I can say is thank you, thank you for your heart of gold!!!!

Carl Riccio

Carl Riccio

Back to School 8/31/2006

I'm back at school! The summer went fast; I enjoyed it and also learned a large amount about finance by trading all summer. I feel like I am ahead of the game in my finance classes. The summer was great I was able to see most of my friends and spend a lot of good time with my family. I am now a junior at school and it seems weird. My cousin John is not here anymore (he graduated), Ryan is in his last year, and my younger cousin Kevin is now a freshman at school with me. I am living in Sheehan Hall again and there're all new people living around me I will have to meet again. I have already met some kids on my floor, they seem like good guys I will be friends with the same as years before. I also already know a couple of the girls living on the ground floor across the quad in Sullivan. As for classes I am taking one elective, an acting class, all the rest are english and 3 finance classes. The acting class is very interesting. I don't know how good I will be at it yet but I am trying. The teacher is definitely unusual, which is to be expected. It hopefully will be fun and I will get through it fine. Coming soon on September 26 is the 4th Annual Carl Riccio Trust Golf Outing. Everyone who is interested in playing golf and/or attending the dinner afterwards is welcome. You can get more information on the homepage. This past week was my brothers Peter and Shane, and sister Kerry's birthdays and I wanted to post a happy birthday to them.
Carl Riccio

Summer 06 7/14/2006

The past two weeks I have been living in Lavallette. As a job I am working for my Dad as a security analysis. I make sure the workers follow the schedule and follow the rules of the store. I then write reports on what I have observed. I also am learning an enormous amount about trading and investing in the stock market. This is the most important thing I’m doing this summer because it is what I want to do when I graduate. I learn a lot about finances in school but I am learning more by actually trading and investing myself, and watching CNBC every day.

Another important thing my family and I have done the past few weeks was looking for a new person to work for me as an assistant before school starts again. We put ads in several papers and had many people call who were interested in the job. My dad, mom, and I interviewed the best candidates and then we had one man try the job. His name is Noah and he has worked for one week so far. He has caught on pretty quickly with the things I need to be done. He says he likes the job and wants to take it for at least the year. I like him so far so it looks like we succeeded in finding a new person to help me.

Keep writing me messages I enjoy reading them and I will write another update in August. Thank you again for all your support.

Carl Riccio

Carl Riccio

Sophomore Year 5/17/2006

Hi! Since my last post many fun things have happened. During Easter break I went on a family vacation to Las Vegas. It was a great experience and was extremely fun and relaxing. During the day we sat at the pool and enjoyed the sun. The weather was perfect every day except one, when it rained. I was able to experience many of the hotel-casinos, new and old. One of the days we went to the old strip and played in and looked at the older casinos. While in Vegas we saw two shows the O-show and the Danni Ganze show. Danni Ganze was a great impersonator; he sang new and old songs and sounded exactly like the original singer. The whole atmosphere was great, everyone was having fun and it is a great place to go on vacation if you are not looking for a beach. I was really worried about my chair making it to Vegas and back without breaking because I heard many stories of peoples wheelchairs breaking during the plane ride, because the chair has to go below in storage with the other luggage. Luckily, everything was fine with my chair and surprisingly the plane-ride was not bad either. The worst thing that happened in Vegas was that my father got food poisoning for the whole first day. By the next day he was better, but he closely examined his food for the rest of the weekend. It was funny because if you know my dad he usually eats anything.

When I got back to school after Easter break there was two weeks of school then finals. It was a hard and intense month for probably all college students. Since this semester was my hardest yet I had to really focus on studying. I got through it and finished all my papers, reports, and finals. I just missed the Deans-list, I still got all A’s and B’s.

Now at home it is nice to be with my family, and soon my sister will be moving back to New Jersey to work in a CVS near home. I have also been caching back up with my friends from home. I am happy to see all my friends are sticking together even though we have been at different colleges for two years now.

Carl Riccio

Vegas Trip 4/21/2006

Carl and his family just came back from a short vacation to las vegas. The trip was Carl's first since his injury and of course it was quite stressful, especially on his mother, making all the special arrangements. The trip turned out to be a learning experience for Carl and a great time for all of us. The airlines are great for a handicapped person they really go out of their way.

Carl of course always seems to amaze me, his personality and brazen approach to everything is refreshing and an asset.

We want to thank everyone who cares about Carl and hope everyone had a Happy Easter.

Thank You,
Peter Riccio
Note: Carl will be posting a message at the end of May

NJ State Wrestling Tornament in AC 3/13/2006

My second semester this year has been much different than my first three. I have many huge personal and group projects that require much more work and time than past assignments. I am still working hard to keep my GPA as high as possible.

Since my last post I turned 20 and the 3 year mark of my injury passed. For my birthday some of my friends threw a surprise party for me. It was great because my brothers, sister, friends from home and school were all there. Going into my fourth year as a quadriplegic I am still as hopeful as ever that I will be cured one day. I continue to do exercise and therapy to stay in shape and ready for any cures in the future. My mother and I have continued to be public supporters of stemcell research. This week I was down in Trenton with my cousin Ryan, Aunt Margaret, and Aunt Linda to help support my mom who was testifying to the senate to pass the bill to fund stemcell research in New Jersey.

The other thing I have been doing at home is following and helping my two younger brothers as they make a run at a medal in the New Jersey State Championship for wrestling. Two weeks ago Tyler took 1st and Shane took 2nd in the Districts. In the next round of the states (regions) Tyler again was 1st and Shane avenged his loss at the Districts to take 1st. This weekend we will be down at Atlantic City to route for my two brothers and my cousin Roy to place as high as possible in the final round of the states. Good luck guys!

Carl Riccio

Message From Carl 1/8/2006

I recently finished my first semester of my sophomore year. It was the best semester grade wise I have had yet. I ended with a 3.6 GPA. I learned the most in my accounting class where my group and I completed a full business plan to open a café. I learned many things on how to run and start a small business that will be useful in my future.

Christmas recently passed and it was nice to see all of my family from both sides at the Christmas parties. The thing I hope and pray for most during these holidays is for everyone to stay healthy and be happy. For Christmas my family and I went into New York City for dinner and to see a play called Mamamia. The play was great, the songs were really good along with the story.

For therapy I have been able to keep up on everything because I was able to transfer all the machines I have at school home for the month. While home I also go to the high school a couple times to see my teachers and watch a couple wrestling practices. I make all the wrestling matches while I am home. The most exciting thing for me during my break is going to the matches because I love watching my brothers and the Watchung Hills team wrestle and compete. I am proud of my brothers and how good they have become.

Another great thing during the break is all the time I get to spend with all my friends from home. It feels great so many of us are able to stay so close even though we go to different schools all over the country. Last I would like to wish everybody a happy new year and thank everyone again for leaving me messages. I enjoy reading them every week.

Thank you,
Carl Riccio

Update 11/16/2005

Much has happened since I last posted on this website. Carl is 3 months into his second year at Villanova University. He is doing well academically as well as socially. Villanova has been great to Carl. They are first class in every aspect of higher education, including their support for handicapped students like Carl.

The 3rd annual golf outing and dinner, was held October 24 at Royce Brook. It was a huge success and a great night for Carl. We thank everyone who helped and attended. Special thanks to the founder of this event Jose Rivera and all his friends at Morgan Stanley and special guests Bobby Thompson (Shot Heard Round the World) and Dr Wise Young (Rutgers Collaborative Research Center for SCI research).

Carl and his mother have been stem cell advocates for over two years, they have been involved in dozens of events to support and to further the understanding of all types of stem cell research, including embryonic stem cell research. These efforts have brought them into the world of politics, they have met many people involved in medical research, as well as all levels of political people. Much to Carl's credit he has been given a gift that allows him to observe and listen and find out what people are all about - if they are good, sincere, honest. How he has this ability at such a young age is amazing, and it serves him well.

I spoke to Carl before he came out in support of Governor Corzine. We spoke of the automatic controversy he would be involved in when he stepped over the line of advocacy and into the world of politics. Carl truly liked Senator Corzine he told me that as far as he could tell he believes he is sincere, honest and a good man and Carl wanted to support him however he could.

We have five children and they all have made us proud. I can honestly say that they are all good kids and citizens. My life revolves around my kids and I am not ashamed to say it because it is true. But I must admit very few hours go by in my life that Carl is not on my mind, he is a constant. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I smile, but always I am proud and honored to have him as my son.

Thank you,
Peter & Tricia Riccio

Message From Carl 10/22/2005

Back To School:

My sophomore year has begun and it’s going even better than last year. I am living in the same room as last year but all my neighbors are different. I’ve met tons of new people and new friends. I also am able to keep all my friends who lived near me last year, because they live in the apartments on west campus and I can easily ride my wheelchair over there. My cousin Ryan lives on west campus and I visit his apartment also.

Academically I have a full course load, and I am doing well keeping my grades up. The second and the harder half of my semester is about to begin, but I will continue to work hard and do well.

Every couple of weeks I come back to participate in different kinds of stem cell advocating. A couple weeks ago I came back from school and spoke at a press conference for stem cell research with Senator Corzine. Next week I’m going to be making a commercial with Senator Corzine supporting Stem cells. I will continue to take every opportunity to be active in supporting this issue by participating in as many events as possible.

On October 24, a golf outing to help support me is being held at Royce Brook Golf Course. I would love to see everyone there.

Thank you,
Carl Riccio

Update 9/14/2005

Carl's world according to me:

It's funny how things change over time, yet other things and thoughts are always with you. The day of Carl's accident and the constant wishing that it never happened and the what ifs such as what would life be like if he were not disabled, are always with me. The sadness and melancholy moments that go along with these thoughts are also always around the corner, but more and more I find myself looking forward to Carl's life as he is growing and maturing into a productive member of society - just has he was in high school and now in college.

My hope for a cure has not waned, in fact I am as hopeful as ever that someday Carl will live a more complete physical life, live more independently, do more with the physical abilities he has and maybe someday will gain, and most of all have a family of his own. I know Carl will be a great father and husband some day. To me, at this time, I do not care if that is in a wheel chair or walking although of course I would prefer the latter.

Carl continues to be the light of my life and the inspiration that keeps me going. He rarely misses an opportunity to interact with friends and family. He is physically beautiful and has a heart of gold. If there is a God, he has truly tested one of his best creations and Carl is passing with flying colors.

In the last year, two families I know have lost a teenage child in car accidents. These losses are unacceptable to the human mind. They are so sad and unimaginable that my heart is broken for these families. I remember a time when I was wondering if it would be better if my son died rather than live as a quadriplegic. I apologize to God for such thoughts. I now know how lucky I am to have Carl and for that matter, everyone who is touched by him in the past and the future.

On October 24, 2005 we will be having the third annual golf outing for Carl. We appreciate everyone who could attend. You can view the info on this web site by clicking here.

Thank you,
Peter & Tricia Riccio
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