The Alimenti Family
Carol, a New Jersey native, was drawn to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2004 with her husband, Tony, and their two children, Christopher and Darcy. An environmental science graduate from UC Berkeley, Carol was also a painter, chef, Master Gardener, lover of the outdoors, and designer of gardens and interior spaces. She had a passion for the arts, and for finding and creating beauty in life. My Turn on the Couch is Carol’s first and only book. She passed away in 2015.
Anthony Charles Alimenti, nicknamed Tony — or as his wife Carol called him, “Ant-ny” — worked for over thirty years as an engineer in the telecommunications industry. He met his wife Carol while they lived in New Jersey, where they had two kids: Darcy and Christopher. He was a caregiver with Carol; first for their son when he battled cancer, and then for Carol’s mother, until she passed while living with them. Then he and his children provided care for Carol through seven years of her battle with cancer. Anthony recently retired to Crozet, Virginia, where he spends his time participating in various men’s groups, playing guitar, golfing, and trying to learn Italian.
Chris Alimenti was born in Little Silver, New Jersey, and lived there until 2004 with his sister, Darcy, his mother, Carol, and his father, Anthony. Chris suffered from seizures and earaches as a young child, which may have caused his audio-processing disorder. He learns in a hands-on and visual style, which prompted the family move to Charlottesville, Virginia for better school systems and, of course, for the Blue Ridge Mountains. Chris attended Murray High School, a charter school that focuses on kids who learn in a different, more abstract manner. At the age of sixteen, while attending Murray High School, he was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL), a blood cancer. Two years from the day of his diagnosis, his mother was diagnosed with uterine-based leiomyosarcoma (ULMS).
Chris is a cancer survivor, and recently completed a camping trip around the United States. He currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, attending Virginia Commonwealth University as an English major.
Darcy Alimenti, daughter of Carol and Anthony Alimenti, was thrust into the nursing profession at the mere age of fourteen as she cared for her brother, mother, and grandmother. After completing her formal nursing education at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, she worked as a registered nurse on an adult bone marrow transplant unit and an adult intensive care unit. She has stepped away from bedside nursing to pursue educational opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, where she is studying to be an acute care gerontology nurse practitioner with a specialty in palliative care. In caring for her dying mother, Darcy developed a passion for holistic nursing that preserves the dignity of the dying and focuses on healing the soul. Darcy’s goal in life is to embody the beauty, joy, love, and genuine nature of her late friend, role model, confidante: her mother.
To learn more about the Alimenti family, visit their website.
My Turn on the Couch: Our Cancer Journey
My Turn on the Couch covers the span of nine years in the Alimenti family, during which three family members each face a shattering cancer diagnosis. This is a true story of how that family confronted these challenges, drew closer as a family, and remained resilient despite the hardships. The primary author, Carol Alimenti, tells the story of her mother’s struggle with cancer, coping, caring, and fighting for her son, Chris, who was diagnosed with leukemia, then having to face her own terminal diagnosis. While caring for her son, she must come to accept the finality of her own life. The book began as a journal and as therapy, but transformed into a collaborative project among the family members as they united to help Carol finish this book and cross the final goal off her bucket list. All the family members who ultimately contributed to this story learned what it meant to be “on the couch.”
This compelling story is a testimony to the power of love, family, hope, and an unbridled faith in God. These key ingredients have allowed the Alimentis to defy the odds in the hope that one day they will reunite again in a land without suffering, tears, and pain—and most of all—without cancer.
Kindle ebook available here ($4.99)