A win worth celebrating. Legendary ESPN analyst Dick VitaleAfter a long battle with lymphoma, melanoma, and other cancers, he declared that he is now cancer-free.
“Dr Rick Brown just notified me with my results of my major Pet Scan & told me news I wish EVERY cancer patient can hear,” the TV personality, 83, wrote via Twitter on Wednesday, August 17. “He said ‘Dick u have gone from being in remission to being CANCER FREE‘! Thank u to ALL of YOU that have sent me 🙏🙏🙏 .”
In a second blog, the college basketball broadcaster continued: “I’m THANKFUL for the kindness of many colleagues, friends, fans & the media during my 9 months of fighting to beat this vicious disease. Once a cancer patient the journey never ends but I’m thrilled to hear the words that I am CANCER FREE!”
Vitale, who has been a fixture of ESPN since 1979’s launch, announced in October 2021 that Vitale had been diagnosed with lymphoma after only two months of multiple surgeries to remove melanoma.
“For the second time in just a few months, I’ve been diagnosed with a form of cancer,” he wrote in an essay for ESPN at the time. “I had announced in August that I underwent multiple surgeries to remove melanoma (which has been totally cleared), yet the doctors believe this lymphoma diagnosis is unrelated. What’s evident is that the treatment plan for this lymphoma is going to be a lot tougher, and in both cases, early detection played an important role in helping to manage the cancers.”
The New Jersey native wrote that despite the news, he would keep his optimism throughout his treatment. “The medical experts tell me it has a 90-percent cure rate. They say I can continue to work so I will have to manage my work schedule around my chemo schedule as they will monitor my test results along the way,” he wrote. “I am lucky and blessed to have a great team of medical experts along with wonderful family support. I am also blessed to work with so many in my second family, ESPN.”
The basketball Hall of Fame member asked fans to send him messages of encouragement during his journey. “If you see me, please just give me a fist bump and say a prayer that I can return from being 82 years old to acting like I’m 12,” Vitale wrote at the time.
Two months later, Vitale announced that he would be taking an extended “break” from commentating in order to rest his vocal cords. “I’m not sure exactly how long I will be off the air as a result of this or how many games I will miss,” the former Detroit Pistons coach told ESPN in December 2021. “Of course, I am heartbroken that I won’t be immediately sitting courtside doing what I love, yet I’m in this for the long run. I plan to do games when I’m 100 – I need to listen to [my doctor]!”