It is a very sad day at ACSH. Our good friend Jimmy Capuano passed away yesterday after a seven-year battle with colon cancer. His battle was nothing short of extraordinary.
We began working with Jim in early 2013 after he nearly died from West Nile encephalitis in 2012. Jim contracted the disease from the bite of an infected mosquito while on vacation on New York s Fire Island. It was entirely preventable.
This incident resulted from a long-standing, misguided policy by the Village of Ocean Beach a small town on the island to opt out of the Suffolk County Department of Health mosquito spraying program, which allowed mosquitoes to flourish while nearby towns were mosquito-free.
Spurred by this chemophobic and anti-scientific mindset, Jim and his long-time friend, ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom, successfully pressured the village to change its policy.
Dr. Bloom said, Jim was a true inspiration to anyone who has or will ever have to endure hardship. We will never see a finer example of composure, dignity, humor, tenacity and grace in the face of adversity.
ACSH s Director of Communications Erik Lief, who was also a close friend of Jim, illustrates this perfectly: Jim, Josh and I played in the same softball league on Fire Island for many years. I will never forget the sight of Jim disconnecting his chemo bag, and heading onto the field to pitch in the blazing sun. Without ever once complaining.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Dana, and their four children, Danny, Brandon, Nick and Julianna. He was truly a wonderful person.
Today s video will give you a glimpse of this greatness.