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5 C Hero is the inspirational story of Joel Stephens, a truly gifted athlete and devout Christian, who lived the values of Christianity, Courage, Compassion, Character, and Commitment.  With the brightest of futures ahead of him, Stephens lost his battle with a rare form of cancer in 1998 at the age of 22. 


D’Aloisio, as coach, mentor, and friend, knew Stephens better than most.  In this book, he chronicles the record-setting athletic exploits of Joel throughout his high school years as well as his professional career as a baseball player in the Baltimore Orioles organization, and his decision to accept a scholarship to play Division I football for Syracuse University.  In many ways, Joel’s story parallels that of Ernie Davis, the “Elmira Express,” who was the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy.


More important than any athletic achievements, Joel’s faith and his concern for others are the qualities that define Joel Stephens.  D’Aloisio takes the reader on a painful odyssey as Joel accepts his illness yet valiantly struggles to overcome it.  This tragic story is told with humor, intensity,  and great warmth.  It is remarkable that Stephens touched so many lives in such a short period of time.  Even after his death, his legacy continues to grow through the Joel Stephens Foundation and other charitable organizations and events held in his honor.


For those who knew Joel, this book will bring them even closer to an old friend; for those who never had the opportunity to meet Joel in person, this book will help you realize what you missed.

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