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The one hundred honoree: Michael Caruso

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Michael Caruso

Mass General Giving

A jazz guitarist as well as a software engineer, Michael (Mike) Caruso turned to music during his long and difficult treatment for leukemia. While recovering from stem cell transplants in Mass General’s inpatient medical oncology unit, Mike was often surrounded by his instruments, composing music that took him to life beyond cancer.

Since then, Mike has used his music to help other patients relieve the isolation and fatigue of treatment. He created the Jazzed for a Cure Foundation and with fellow musicians, held fundraising concerts and recorded a CD, “Songs for Amy,” named for his wife.

Drawing on his electronics savvy as well as his musical talents, Mike used the proceeds to enhance the life of transplant patients who must often remain in the unit for various lengths of time. Mike, along with another donor, provided laptop computers so they can connect with the outside world and Wii video game systems to encourage diverting, low-impact exercise. With donations from the Jazzed for a Cure Foundation, he supplied the art and music therapists in Mass General’s HOPES program with iPads laden with creative tools.

Raising spirits as well as funds, Mike and his friends performed in the unit and also held concerts for the entire Mass General Cancer Center, transporting their audience to a world beyond cancer.