Joey Bongiorno

November 7, 2023

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This Eye Donation month, we honor Army Veteran Joseph “Joey” Bongiorno, who would be celebrating his birthday today, Nov. 7. Joey is a true hero who gave someone the ultimate gift – the gift of life. After his passing, Joey’s eyes were donated and given to someone in need.

Joey’s life was defined by hard work and service. He dedicated himself fully to everything he did, from opening his own law practice to drumming for the 389th U.S. Army Band. What his loved ones remember most, though, was Joey’s positive and infectious attitude. He is remembered as being full of life and full of love for his family and children.

On July 28, 2013, Joey passed away from a rare form of stomach cancer. Before his passing, Joey made the compassionate decision to donate his corneas and give the gift of sight to someone in need. It’s a reminder that his sacrifices and acts of service never truly ended; they merely took on a different form. His sister Rose Ronzitti admires Joey’s selflessness.

“I’m just so proud of his selfless gift to the two women that received his corneas – that they are able to see because of him,” she said. “I hope that they have looked out into the ocean that he loved so much that he called home. He accomplished so much in life, but in his death, I think that his gift was his biggest accomplishment that he could have ever done.”

Today, Rose continues to volunteer her time with CORE in celebration of Joey’s legacy. Joey’s story reminds us of true heroism and selflessness. You can be someone’s hero, too, by registering to be a donor. It only takes a minute here: