Joanne Urnezis Hunt Joanne Urnezis Hunt

First post: Nov 26, 2020 Latest post: Nov 12, 2021
Update: Joanne fought against Leukemia for days. On Saturday, December 5, Joanne spiked a fever and her breathing changed. She was able to communicate with us and her smile was genuine as always. Joanne enjoyed a few french fries and sips of a chocolate malt Sunday night, one of her very favorite food groups and a gift of Robert, Samantha and Dylan. Monday we had a stream of visitors saying hello and Joanne drifted in and out of sleep. She spoke softly, prayed and looked about her as she was able. It was a very special day. Tuesday, December 8, Joanne was listening to us and would occasionally move her mouth or eyebrows to someone's voice or hand-squeeze. She was leaving us and those around her stayed close to surround her with the love she so freely gave. At 3:18 pm she quietly and peacefully exited this world to begin her new life. We miss her with every breath.

Welcome to Joanne Hunt's CaringBridge site. We are using it to keep family and friends updated and for Joanne to feel close to the people she loves. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. We've learned that laughter and humor are so precious during this time of COVID, so we'd love if you would post messages and share stories and pictures of your adventures with Joanne so we might all walk down memory lane together. If you would like to send Joanne a video message, please email it to And please feel free to  pass the link on to other family and friends we may have missed. Lastly, if you are so inclined, say a prayer. Joanne is a tried and true prayer warrior and has felt the power of prayer in her life countless times.  Below is a bit more about Joanne's current medical condition. Joanne turned 78 in June. She might as well have turned 58 for all the energy and spunk she has! Whether you know Joanne as family or friend, her strength, determination and faith are hallmarks of her character. This summer marked 67 years as a Polio survivor, and although Post-Polio Syndrome has been a  great unknown --  and kind of a beast -- Joanne has never let it  define or limit her. Almost twelve years ago, Joanne was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a blood cancer. She began a course of treatment that included a weekly shot of medication and periodic blood transfusions. Joanne defied the odds of MDS and continued with this treatment for close to a decade. When the effectiveness of the shots waned, Joanne opted to try a traditional course of chemotherapy. She toughed it out for a few cycles, but ultimately decided that specific chemotherapy was not right for her at the time.  Since then, Joanne has relied on more frequent blood transfusions to sustain her life and keep the MDS at bay. This September, Joanne tried a new medication that was meant to decrease the frequency of blood transfusions. We all had a renewed sense of hope as her red blood count stayed at a level where blood transfusions were decreased to once every three weeks. We'd spent years focused on her hemoglobin and red blood count and were so pleased that we had a reprieve! On the flip side, the medication caused her platelets and white blood count to drop. This was expected, but Joanne had to stop the medication during the second cycle to see if her platelets and white count would rebound. At the same time, the MDS had appeared to progress to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), which is common with this disease. Joanne started in-home palliative care this week. This is not hospice, as she can still receive blood transfusions and other life-sustaining treatments as necessary.  She greets each day with joy and gratitude and looks forward to her chicken noodle soup, popsicles and Hallmark Christmas movies. She and Al celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary on January 1, so champagne and a virtual trip to Maui are on the horizon!