Oct 3, 2013 9:12 PM by John Patrick
TUCSON - The Ooh-Aah Man is not only battling Parkinson's disease but now fighting to save his home.
The Ooh-Aah Man is better known to his friends and family as Joseph Cavaleri. You've seen him at the Wildcat games leading cheers for the past 30 years. He's been missing from many games lately due to his fight against the disease that affects millions, Parkinson's.
"I use the chair a lot so I just kind of. It's frustrating," explains Cavaleri.
With Cavaleri showing his symptoms of Parkinson's many Tucsonans remember him differently. He has held the title Ooh-Aah Man since 1979 when he led his first Wildcat cheer. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2010 his symptoms have progressed making things hard on himself and his family.
As the bills piled up his home fell into foreclosure. Now owing the bank $60,000 the Ooh-Aah man and his family are hoping for a little inspiration themselves. Olivia Cavaleri, Joe's daughter, would love nothing more than to be able to keep the house she grew up in.
"Every milestone that I ever went through has been in this house and it's the only place that I love," says Cavaleri.
A fellow friend and Wildcat fan, Cory Parella has been working hard to save the Cavaleri home.
"Joe is not a man who asks for help. He comes from that generation of men who are just not quick to ask for it," explains Parella.
Knowing the Ooh-Aah Man wouldn't ask for help Parella took it onto himself to start a campaign raising money to save the Cavaleri's house. With over 60 thousand dollars to raise it will not be an easy feat but just as Cavaleri brought Wildcat fans together, Parella hopes they'll come together for the man that brought them so much cheer.
Parella says, "The man cheered for you when nobody else would. It's time to pay him a visit and show him the fight of Wildcats not just in the arena but in the practical application of life."
An Indie Gogo account has been set up in Joseph Cavaleri's name if you would like to help out with a donation visit his page here. For some added incentive, givers of monetary and non-monetary gifts get 1 free copy of any book written by Parella and you can vote for the title of Joe Cavaleri's biography, due out by March 2014.