Dick Vitale, popularly known as “Dickie V,” shared heartbreaking news to the public that his health condition has taken a turn for the worse.
This shattering development follows an identical statement Vitale made in August that he battled a melanoma scare which has left his system entirely.
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The former basketball coach said this was the second time, in a few months, he had been identified with a form of cancer.
PEOPLE reported that in an essay for ESPN’s Front Row on Monday, the sportscaster revealed he had been diagnosed with lymphoma.
Vitale wrote that he underwent tests due to symptoms he had in recent weeks, and doctors confirmed the condition, which was unrelated to his removed melanoma.
The Basketball Hall of Famer noted that his new treatment plan would be much more challenging. However, early detection significantly helped manage the cancers in the previous case.
Spirit of A Champion!
Vitale revealed that despite the sorrowful news, he considered himself to be very lucky. He said he knows, firsthand, the devastation that cancer can have on families, children, and loved ones.
The sportscaster said he never forgets that cancer “robs you of so many things, including life itself for some of the most unfortunate patients.”
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Vitale will receive chemotherapy for six months and steroids. He will also work while undergoing treatment which medical experts tell him has a 90-percent cure rate.
The father-of-two said he would fight with all his heart and return stronger than ever. He thanked his second family at ESPN for their support all through his health battles.
Vitale rounded up by telling anyone who comes across him to give him a fistbump and pray he “can return from being 82 years old to acting like I’m 12” then thanked them for their love.
In a statement, ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said that Vitale is a one-of-a-kind treasure as a broadcaster and person whose familial love and passion for helping others define his greatness.
A Hero For The Cause
In a guest column on InsideHook, Vitale dove into his almost 30-year-old organization named the “V Foundation for Cancer research.”
The inspiration for his Foundation was late NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano and a girl, Payton Wright, who passed away from rare brain cancer at age 5.
The broadcaster said that 40 to 50 parents will hear their child has cancer every day, yet only 4% of federal funding for cancer research is invested in pediatric cancer research.
This motivated Vitale and his wife Lorraine to start the Foundation, which began as a modest event in his house to raise money for Wright’s family and skyrocketed into the Dick Vitale Gala.
This gala has generated a whopping $6.5 million to support pediatric cancer research this past year.
Vitale seems to have the heart and spirit of a champion and is being cheered on by fans, family, and the ESPN network as he begins chemotherapy.