Elizabeth Card and Carrie Maniscalco
Elizabeth Card and Carrie Maniscalco
Carrie Maniscalco is a name many Madison County residents have probably never heard of before. But to the students, faculty, staff, and families in the St. Joseph Catholic School community in Madison, she means so much. 

The school is her alma mater and, while there, she definitely left her mark. After graduating high school with honors in 2002, she went to the University of Southern Mississippi to get her Bachelor of Science in psychology with an emphasis on exercised physiology. 

During her last semester at Southern Miss, Maniscalco got sick, had outpatient surgery, and that ultimately led to a series of undiagnosable illnesses.

Despite that, her heart of service was still alive and well as she was training for a marathon organized by the Leukemia and lymphoma society.  

“From the beginning, faith was always a big part of my life,” she said 

In response to the sickness, she received outpatient surgery. But complications resulted in her contracting viral pneumonia. It damaged her nervous system, leaving her unable to eat solid food and on IV nutrition for eight years. Ever since then, it has been an up and down battle with her health. She has been fighting several undiagnosable forms of illness for over 11 years. The antibiotics that saved her life numerous times also caused serious complications such as permanent liver damage, acute kidney failure, and complete hearing loss for five years. 

She received a cochlear implant in 2016.  

“When you have no hearing for five years, you have a lot of silence, and you get a lot of prayer time in,” she said optimistically. “And you’re able to spend a lot more time with the Lord.” 

Carrie and her family’s faith have been the rock they have found refuge in over the last few years.  

In 2007, Elizabeth Card and other members of the Service Club at St. Joe created the Scary for Carrie Fundraiser. The fundraiser happens on Halloween every year. During the fundraiser, students at Saint Joseph grades seventh through twelfth pay to dress up in Halloween Costumes for Carrie Maniscalco. The funds go directly to the family, and in 2018, the school raised $900 for the cause. 

“Once you’re a part of St. Joe and the community, you’re forever a part.” Maniscalco said. “You don’t stand alone.” 

“The support from the Saint Joe community has been overwhelming and such a blessing to our family,” Carrie’s mother said. “It [is] so generous.”  

Even though she graduated from St. Joe almost 17 years ago, the event still is a big part to this school’s mission of giving back. 

“Knowing that none of y’all know me, [and] that you continue to pray so faithfully every day, every week, I can’t put into words how much that means,” Carrie said.  

“The warmth and generosity of the people here at Saint Joe never ceases to amaze me,” Hannah Dear, a junior at St. Joseph said. “We have some of the most giving and caring people; students, faculty, parents, and alumni.” 

“Where we are in our country, there’s so much good that is still out there,” Carrie concluded. “(Just) continue to do for others.”