Photography by Desiree Dugan Photography
Meet Cathy. She is Beauty Revived.
“Life as you know can change in a moment.” For Cathy and her family, their lives were changed forever changed in one moment on a warm Spring day in 2003.
The shriek of her oldest son Robbie, who was 14 at the time, pierced the air as he choked out the words his younger sister Tori, age 12, had just been struck from behind by a drunk driver as the two walked home from their bus stop. Cathy ran out to her daughter’s side to find her lifeless body mangled and clinging to life. In an instant, dreams of martial arts championships, school dances, graduations, college and marriage were replaced with hopes of simply making it through another day. After extensive efforts by rescue personnel, hospital staff and the miracle of God, Tori was left with a traumatic brain injury that has left her in a minimally conscious state. She needs around the clock care and is unable to walk, talk, or eat.
For the past 14 years, Cathy has continued to be Tori’s primary caretaker. Days are spent shuttling her to OT, PT, various Dr.’s appointments and providing nursing care; all with a mothers unwavering love.
One person’s poor decision to drive while intoxicated forever changed Tori, her older brother Robbie, and Cathy. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and only concentrating on her own family, Cathy founded the Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation to carry on her daughter’s spirit, philanthropic attitude and generosity.
“The Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation works to empower people to make good choices, protect other families from the devastating consequences of poor decision-making, and, for those whom it can’t protect, tries to make a difficult journey easier.” The Foundation has five areas of focus. They are Commitment to Community, Support and Recognition of Law Enforcement, Education and Awareness of Substance Abuse/ Youth and Destructive Decisions, Traumatic Brain Injury and Rehabilitation, and Confidence Through Competition.
On any given day, Cathy can be found at the RI prison retelling her families story to high school students during a determent program or at the RI Hasbro Children’s hospital holding the hands of parents and helping them navigate their new life with a child’s traumatic brain injury diagnosis, supporting local and national MADD chapters and law enforcements efforts, making charitable contributions to local Lions Clubs, providing AED’s to communities in need, or medical equipment and resources to individuals.
Cathy has touched countless lives on behalf of her families’ experience. She has an unstoppable spirit that is driven by her unwavering love for her children. She has never given up hope for a better life for Tori and for a better community for everyone. Her ability to care for her daughter to the extent that she does and then still contribute to society at a level that most don’t dare, does not go unnoticed. Cathy was an inspiration to me when I was a tween watching her cheer her toddlers on in the karate dojo, was one of the driving forces to better myself when I was a police officer so I could make an impact on the drunk driving epidemic, and is the gentle reminder to slow down when I am moving too fast through motherhood. My hope for her is to feel as much loves she has given from those who love her and her and the community that she serves. Thank you for being the change this world needs Cathy!