Cherishing life, Westbrook family fights cancer with ‘Bottle It Up!’

OLD LYME - - Jennifer Curley of Westbrook tells parents to enjoy and appreciate their children each and every day. She lives life with positivity and generosity.

"You have to give back. I tell (my kids) that all the time," she said. "In so many ways, we've been blessed."

Her three sons — Matthew, age 15, and 12-year-old twins James and Andrew — were all born with neurological disorders and spend much of their time in wheelchairs. When Matthew was in fourth grade, his beloved teacher died of cancer. In order to help him deal with the grief, the family started an organization called "Bottle It Up!" to raise money for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. Four years later, the family experienced a shock — one that made their mission personal.

"Matthew actually developed tumors and brain cancer, so, it comes that much closer," said Curley's husband, Peter Scotella. Now, the family views "Bottle It Up!" as a productive distraction — one that channels their worry and energy in a positive way.

Click here for the entire column from the Hartford Courant.