July 25 - Michael, at age 9, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer affecting the lymphatic system, at BC Children's Hospital. It was his younger brother Steve's 7th birthday.
August 6 - Michael began his prescribed six-month chemotherapy treatment plan. Some days were better than others for Michael but no matter how challenging the fight became, he always sought strength in his positive attitude. During this period, he was still eager to participate in as many of his favourite activities as possible; Michael continued to play soccer and perform in jazz dance competitions and he even celebrated a first-place victory with his dance team in a competition that took place while he was still undergoing chemotherapy.
November 15 - In his fourth month of chemotherapy, Michael contracted meningitis, necessitating a 10-day stay in isolation. During this stay, he made the best use of time and wrote his first song called, "When You Are Away." He wrote this song for his father Domenic's surprise 40th birthday. The heartfelt lyrics that were dedicated to his father also doubled as an expression of Michael's sentiments for the children that had passed away around him. Michael missed his father when he was away at work and unable to visit him, just as he missed the other sick children he had befriended and then lost.
December 10 - Michael's test results showed that he was cancer-free! His oncologist advised that he still complete his full six months of chemotherapy treatments to reduce the chances of his cancer returning. Michael courageously agreed to fight to the end, and once he was done his treatments, he started working on his second song: "Make a Difference." The title of this song represented his determination to make a difference and help put an end to the pain and suffering of cancer. He endeavoured to put out a CD and donate the net proceeds to childhood cancer research.
June 27 - After a series of tests and three biopsy surgeries, it was confirmed that Michael's cancer had returned. Michael was advised that he would need heavy chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant with his own stem cells this second time around in order to maximize his chances of survival.
June 29 - Still sore from the biopsies, Michael spoke to over 700 students for his sister Sophia's Grade 7 graduation ceremony and was interviewed by the local press. Michael was continuing to pursue his goal of producing a CD to raise cancer research funds. Three songs had been recorded at this point.
July 3 - Chemotherapy treatments began again for Michael. It was the first step in the process of preparing him for the bone marrow transplant.
July 25 - Michael celebrated his brother Steve's 8th birthday and marked the one year since he began his journey of battling cancer.
July 31 - Michael received his bone marrow transplant. He was among the first of patients at BC Children's Hospital to undergo a bone marrow transplant that utilizes the patient's own stem cells. The months following the transplant were trying times for Michael as he underwent further procedures, but he continued to remain positive.
September 22 - Michael's test results showed that he had beaten the disease for a 2nd time ... he was once again cancer-free!
November 14 - Michael was finally able to return to school after having to stay home for 100 days to recover his immune system.
March 8 - At an Enrich meeting, Michael gave a speech on how Enrich herbs helped him to regain weight and energy following his bone marrow transplant. Barry Borthistle, Canadian & United Kingdom President of Enrich International Canada, was sitting in the audience. He was so impressed with Michael's presentation, he gifted Michael and his parents with three Caribbean cruise tickets for January 1997. Barry wanted Michael to spread his message of hope, faith and love to people all over the world while enjoying himself on the cruise.
April 18 - Michael was invited to BC Children's Hospital Kick-Off Party, which is celebratory Thank You event for all of the major sponsors of the Children's Miracle Network Telethon. Michael gave a speech describing his cancer treatments and his CD plans. He also performed "Make a Difference."
May 15 - Michael attended a golf tournament in aid of BC Children's Hospital, which was sponsored by one of its heart surgeons. There, Michael gave a speech praising the doctors and nurses at BC Children's Hospital and shared with everyone about his continued work on his CD. Dr. Art Hister introduced Michael as "a natural talent." Michael performed "Make a Difference" and "Lock the Door"
June 1 - Michael performed for the BC Children's Hospital Telethon that was broadcasted all over British Columbia. He sang a song and presented the $1,000 he had received as a recipient of the BCTV/Dairy Queen Saturday's Child Award.
July 13-20 - Michael attended Camp Good Times: a camp for young cancer patients, children in remission, and their siblings.
August 13 - Michael left on a ten-day trip to New York to visit Nester, a special friend of the family that adored Michael. While he was there, they toured New York Children's Hospital, and Michael spread his encouragement to young patients in every corner.
August 25 - Michael was one of 12 finalists in the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) Talent Search Competition. It was Michael's first performance since his bone marrow transplant.
September 3 - Michael appeared on a 1040 AM radio broadcast and talked about the benefits of herbs for his health. He also answered questions from callers.
October 5 - Michael visited the set of Baywatch, a wish fulfilled by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. David Hasselhoff listened to Michael's demo tape of his songs and was so impressed that he told Michael he was going to audition him in an upcoming episode. Michael also met Jay Leno from The Tonight Show.
October 23 - Michael sang at a Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit. He expressed his gratitude for being granted his wish to visit all the actors on the Baywatch set. He spoke about his hopes and dreams of helping to find a cure for cancer and that he was going to use his CD sales as a means of contributing to this important cause.
November 22 - Michael's CD, Make a Difference, was produced within 12 months of him completing his radiation treatments. The CD Release Party was held on this date in concurrence with the celebration of the establishment of the Michael Cuccione Foundation. This would later become known as the 1st Annual Dinner & Dance Fundraiser in Vancouver, which raised over $15,000.
March 27 - Michael decided to spread his messages across Canada. He was invited to the Parliament Building in Victoria to meet with then-premier of British Columbia, Glen Clark.
April - Michael's CD started to be sold in the United States through a local fireman, who had been following Michael's story. He suggested that Michael contact The People's Network, which eventually ordered 500 CDs and 300 tapes.
April 9 - Michael began his tour across Canada to spread his messages and promote his CD. Michael appeared on the Dini Petty Show to tell his story; he was interviewed on a radio program; met the Candlelighters (a support group for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families) representative, who invited him to be their spokesperson for their Walk-a-thon; and was interviewed on 100 Huntley Street.
April 10 - Michael travelled to Ottawa to meet with Canada's then-prime minister, Jean Chrétien. While he was there, he attended a session of the legislature where a tribute was paid to him by Anna Terrana and Sharon Hayes, former Members of Parliament in British Columbia; he later received this tribute on a plaque. Michael had an important fifteen-minute interview with former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in which he asked for government support for his cause. Mr. Chrétien affirmed Michael's request by sharing his plans to look into supporting cancer research after the upcoming federal election. At the end of June 1997, Mr. Jean Chrétien had been re-elected as Prime Minister of Canada, and he honoured his declaration to Michael by announcing that his government would be granting $60 million to 200 Canadian researchers across the country who were working on developing a cancer vaccine
April 11 - Michael was interviewed on Canada AM where he told his story and sang "Never Give Up." He was also interviewed by Global News. He did a profile on "Kid's Beat," which would be shown across Canada. Michael was featured in local and Italian papers throughout the week.
April 19 - Michael spoke and sang at the 45th anniversary dinner for researchers and pediatric doctors of BC Children's Hospital at the Renaissance Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia.
April 20 - Michael autographed his CDs at a hair Cut-A-Thon event initiated by his hairdresser.
June 1 - Michael once again appeared on the BC Children's Hospital Telethon. He sat between famed Canadians Shari Ulrich and Rick Hansen. Michael pledged 50 CDs at $50.00 a pledge. He was sold out in a very short time and received the most calls.
June 3 - Michael met with David Hasselhoff at Planet Hollywood in Vancouver who offered Michael the opportunity to audition for the lead role in an episode of Baywatch which would centre on a boy named Charlie that dies of cancer.
June 5 - Michael spoke to over 7000 people associated with The People's Network about his hopes and dreams of helping to find a cure for cancer. He received 5 standing ovations and sold over 600 CDs. Afterwards, he caught a plane in time to appear at a cancer fundraiser for Relay For A Friend, where he spoke and sang at the closing candlelight ceremony.
June 16 - Michael spent 15 hours, shooting an anti-bullying PSA commercial, Youth Against Violence, with athlete Trevor Linden. He spent the last hour running to escape some scripted bullies, who were supposedly chasing him. This wasn't easy for Michael because he had a pulmonary count of only 59
June 17 - Michael auditioned and did a screen test for the role of Charlie on Baywatch. It was confirmed that he was going to get the part. In order to film his scenes, he had to be cleared by the US government; a declared factor of its approval of Michael was his school grades, which were all A's and B's on his last report card. Filming ran from July 9 to July 23 of 1997; his whole family was invited to be with him during this time.
August 22 - In Orlando, Florida, Michael spoke at an Enrich International Convention. A video was shown to attendees revealing how frail Michael was after his bone marrow transplant; he had gone from 84 to a mere 59 pounds and was very weak. In his speech, he gave Enrich herbs credit for his weight gain and abundant energy, which was evident for everyone in the audience to see. By this point, he weighed more than 100 pounds. He sang "Make A Difference" and sold 100 of his CDs, after which he took orders for more.
September 18 - Michael visited the Science Centre in Calgary, where he told his story and sang a song. He was presented with a $5000 cheque payable to the Michael Cuccione Foundation from The Bank of Montreal Charity Society, which donates funds to worthy causes.
September 21 - Michael spoke at a church and completed an interview at CHIN, an Italian TV Program in Toronto, Ontario.
September 22 - Michael appeared on Doctors on Call with his mother. This was shown on television stations across Canada.
September 23 - Michael spoke and sang at Caritas, a home in Toronto, Ontario that helps individuals who struggle with drug addiction and mental illnesses. Michael was also interviewed by Telelatino, an Italian TV program.
September 27 - Michael spoke at a Netcorp Travel Convention and was given a $1000 donation for the Foundation.
October 9 - Michael paid a visit to BC Children's Hospital for his regular three-month tests. Thankfully, he received a clean and cancer-free bill of health, except for his pulmonary counts which were still sitting at 59. Everyone around him hoped that the radiation treatments and procedures he underwent did not damage his lungs permanently.
October 20 - The premiere of Michael's Baywatch episode "Charlie" aired. The episode had a tag at the end for the Michael Cuccione Foundation.
November 21 - The 2nd Annual Fundraising Dinner was held in Vancouver, which raised $30,000. Michael presented a cheque for $50,000 to BC Children's Hospital. The endowment fund was to be used to hire a full-time cancer researcher for a lifetime at BC Children's Hospital. Michael sang two new songs, "Life's Like Weather (Sun or Rain)" and "Learning From The Best."
December - By the end of 1997 over $175,000 had been raised by the Michael Cuccione Foundation.
March 25 - Michael achieved an Honor Roll Standing for Academic Achievement at Maple Creek Middle School.
April - Michael was signed on with a talent agency in Los Angeles, USA.
April 5 - Michael and his grandmother, Jane MacSporran, launched their co-authored book There Are Survivors: The Michael Cuccione Story.
April 17 - Over $18,000 was raised at the 1st Annual Fundraiser in Toronto, Ontario
May 31 - Michael was confirmed with 2700 other youth in a Catholic ceremony at BC Place, Vancouver, British Columbia.
July 19 - Michael and his mother, Gloria, travelled to Los Angeles to further explore acting and fundraising opportunities. Michael found work from Disney on the set of Smart Guy.
September 16 - Michael met and was blessed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II following Mass at St. Peter's Square in Rome, Italy.
October 16 - The 3rd Annual Fundraiser Dinner in Vancouver, British Columbia raised $35,000. Michael presented a cheque for $50,000 to BC Children's Hospital and $25,000 to Alberta Children's Hospital for their respective cancer research programs.
April 30 - The 2nd Annual Fundraising Dinner in Toronto, Ontario was held. A cheque for $25,000 was presented to the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) for a Leukemia/Lymphoma Research Program.
June - Griffiths, Gibson & Ramsay Productions offered its recording studio and its support for Michael's latest single. Toolshed Productions, Anthony Anderson and Steve Smith were providing programming and musical direction.
September 26 - Michael was invited to speak at a fundraiser held by the Guild of Hairdressing Association in Toronto, Ontario. Partial proceeds were given to the Michael Cuccione Foundation.
October 14th - The Annual Fundraiser Dinner was held in Vancouver, British Columbia and it raised $65,000. Michael presented BC Children's Hospital another cheque for $50,000 to go towards his endowment fund for a full-time cancer researcher at the hospital.
October 30 - Michael started working on the first MTV made-for-TV movie called 2GETHER.
March 22 - The 2nd Annual Fundraiser Dinner was held in Edmonton, Alberta which raised over $22,000 for the Stollery Children's Hospital's childhood cancer research program.
April - Michael signed his first TV series with MTV for the 2GETHER series.
April 28 - The 3rd Annual Fundraiser Dinner was held in Toronto, Ontario which raised over $19,000 for the Lymphoma/Leukemia Program at the Hospital for Sick Children.
May 15 - Michael and the 2GETHER group headed to the USA to record their second album for the TV series.
June 26 - Filming of the 2GETHER series began in Vancouver, BC.
August 15 - The 2GETHER series aired across the USA on MTV.
August 29 - Michael and his band members released their second CD 2GETHER AGAIN in New York City, USA.
September 23 - The 5th Annual Fundraiser Dinner was held in Vancouver, BC, which raised $60,000. A cheque was presented to the BC Children's Hospital in the amount of $100,000. This donation marked the first goal achieved by the Michael Cuccione Foundation: endowment for a full-time childhood cancer researcher for a lifetime.
November 6 - The filming of the second season of the 2GETHER series started. Michael was only able to shoot the first three episodes due to respiratory complications.
December 4 - Michael contracted pneumonia and had to be hospitalized. The next day, his CO2 levels skyrocketed and he was put on a ventilator.
December 12 - Michael's condition was improving but there was no plan to take him off the ventilator.
December 18 - Michael contracted a multi-resistant bacterial infection and this posed a very serious threat to his life.
December 25 - This was a sad Christmas for Michael and his family because he had not eaten for almost 6 weeks and was being fed through a tube. Christmas dinner was always so special to his Italian family but this year, Michael was unable to join in the celebration. The family was finding it very difficult to cope.
January 5 - Michael celebrated his 16th birthday in the hospital surrounded by his family and friends.
January 13, 9:31pm - Michael took his last breath on Earth and left to live on with the Lord in the Heavens above.
Michael's legacy continues and everyone knows how important it was to Michael to help find a cure for cancer. We must keep Michael's dream alive!