Drew O’Donoghue, son of Sean and Lisa O’Donoghue, and older brother of Patrick O’Donoghue, grew up in Whitehouse Station, NJ.
Drew died on February 14, 2014 at the age of 22 after a yearlong battle with adrenocortical cancer (ACC), a very rare and aggressive cancer that strikes about 1,000 people a year in the U.S.
At the time of his diagnosis, Drew was in the spring semester of his junior year at Villanova University where he majored in finance and accounting, with a minor in Chinese.
Drew was a gifted student, a talented musician, and a former high school basketball player. He really enjoyed playing piano, and had composed and recorded several original pieces of music.
Drew graduated from Hunterdon Central High School, Flemington NJ in 2010 where he was selected into the National Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society, received the Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar award and AP Scholar award with Distinction. He was honored to be selected as captain of the varsity basketball team, was named to the 1st team All-County, the County Tournament All-Star team, 2nd team All-Skyland Conference, Honorable mention All-Area, 3rd Team All West Jersey and lead the county in 3-point field goals and named the team’s MVP. In addition he was selected as Varsity Scholar Athlete for the 2009 & 2010 teams.
At Villanova University, Drew achieved Dean’s List every semester.
In 2011, Drew studied abroad in Shanghai, China, at Fudan University, where he attended courses in international business. During his stay there in China, he worked as an intern at a global marketing firm and traveled extensively throughout the country.
Drew was selected to join both the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi in May of 2013.
Although Drew would not live long enough to attend the 2014 Villanova Commencement ceremony, he was conferred with his diploma, earning the honor of Magna Cum Laude. Villanova University President, and friend of Drew's, Fr. Peter Donohue, offered this moving tribute before presenting Drew's diploma to his parents and brother Patrick.
While Drew was an accomplished student, he was not afraid to be the life of the party. Perhaps growing up with Irish and Italian American roots - as well as having 13 aunts and uncles, and 25 cousins - contributed to his gregariousness. He was often the first one out on the dance floor...and the last to leave. And if there was a piano nearby, you might hear him playing one of his own compositions, or one of his favorites, Train's Drops of Jupiter.
Drew was always a lot of fun to be around.
Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit about Drew and his battle with ACC. And please, if you are able, consider making a donation to The Drew Fund.