A note from Italia's parents, Joe and Denise
Thank you to Joe and Denise Palmiotto for sharing their daughter Italia’s story with us.
On August 10, 2014, Italia Palmiotto gave birth to her son, CJ, whom her dad Joe says "she loved more than anything". Just weeks later, on August 26, 2014, Italia died of a heroin overdose. She was 22 years old.
Italia’s story is similar to others in that she was a happy, healthy teenager who loved her family, attended school, played sports and had many friends. At some point in her junior year in high school, things changed. Her family went through years of rehabs and recovery centers and never gave up.
In an Instagram post about her father, Italia wrote: “I love my father with all my heart we may fight here and there but he has always been there to support me, guide me, and love me unconditionally, he has the key to my heart and always will.”
When we met Joe at an Opioid Change the Conversation series last year, we were struck by his raw emotion and honesty in telling Italia’s story.
We want to thank him for bringing awareness to the needs of women and girls in the opioid epidemic. It is because of Joe that we have come to realize that there are very few places specifically for women seeking help with addiction.
It is our hope that Italia’s memory will change the way we see addiction and that the Palmiotto family will find peace knowing she is part of that change.
A portion of the proceeds from the 3rd Annual REACH at the BEACH event was donated to the Walter Hoving Home for Women in Italia's memory.