IllnessESPN's College Basketball Analyst, Dick Vitale, Reveals He is Cancer Free!

ESPN’s College Basketball Analyst, Dick Vitale, Reveals He is Cancer Free!

The fight against cancer is a priority for both ESPN and the V Foundation. Visit to donate if you are able to do so and help fight cancer.

The day Art Korney learned that his son Coleton had cancer is a day he’ll never forget.

Ewing sarcoma, a kind of tumor that develops on bone or tissue, was identified in Coleton Korney. Shortly after learning his son’s diagnosis, Art Korney received a call while still in the hospital.

The lowest point of our lives and he calls you up, Korney remarked. “This is Dick Vitale,” he announced. We’re available to assist.”

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College basketball and Dick Vitale go hand in hand

He has worked with ESPN since the network’s debut in 1979. He was the first paper and called the very first college basketball program on ESPN.

However, Vitale has been involved in the battle against cancer for almost as long as he has appeared in college basketball on television. Jim Valvano was assisted by him in getting to the ESPYs stage, where Valvano gave his well-known “Don’t give up” speech.

Vitale was there at the inception of the V Foundation

More than just encouraging donations and endorsing cancer research with his name and fame, Vitale has forged close relationships with cancer patients and their families, assisting them in coping with the disease and thriving after it has passed.

The hope he brought to the unknown, according to Korney, “lifted your spirits and gave you hope.”

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Vince Grande, whose son Enzo was given a leukemia diagnosis when he was three and a half years old, stated, “Prayers and money.” “We beg for further research in order to help cancer patients. Dick welcomed us into his residence. Life itself is at stake, not only disease.”

Vitale revealed his cancer diagnosis and impending chemotherapy treatment in October. That was clear to him. Vitale said in a statement, “I’ve witnessed personally the destruction that cancer can have on families, on kids, and on all of our loved ones. “It might make you fall to your knees.

It’s emotionally and physically draining. For some of the most unfortunate patients, it robs them of their life itself, among many other things. I’m fortunate in that I never lose sight of that.”

The 82-year-old Vitale made the announcement that he was cancer-free in April 2022.

Even though Vitale is well-known for his humanitarian work and for his involvement in college basketball, his impact on individuals who have benefited from him and the efforts of the V Foundation is nearly palpable: The work of Vitale has inspired children and their families who have endured the horrors of pediatric illness and are now coping with life after cancer. As a result, they are developing into the next group of cancer fighters.

Elain Grande stated, “Some youngsters want to be rock stars, want to be athletes. “My son dreams of becoming Dick Vitale.”

Before being given the all-clear from cancer, Enzo Grande had to endure four years of treatment, 18 spinal taps, 20 blood transfusions, and a liver condition.

Mikari Tarpley was simultaneously impacted by COVID-19 and cancer. In March 2020, just before she turned 16, she received a Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis. Actress and Broadway star Tarpley studies in a Smyrna, Georgia, high school for the performing arts, but she had to stay away from her pals while receiving treatment during a pandemic. She was helped by other cancer patients.

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“Cancer is awful and needs to be destroyed,” said Tarpley.

dick vitale illness

“The procedure was challenging. It wasn’t good. But the help that people provide improves this tenfold. It didn’t feel as horrible even though I was constantly ill and exhausted. Something about having so much love and care around you made the treatment not seem as terrible.”

When Grande and Tarpley were undergoing their respective treatments, they were both aware of their desire to develop ways to aid cancer sufferers, particularly youngsters.

“Overall, battling cancer is challenging. You don’t want to witness a child endure suffering. I don’t want anybody to experience that, “Grande, who is currently 13 and cancer-free, stated. “I went through it. Children’s emotions are familiar to me. It’s critical to consider what children experience at such an early age.”

Dick Vitale, Chris Fowler, and Enzo Grande during the Vitale Gala. Family Grande

Grande founded Enzo’s Smackdown to Cancer to aid others. She resides in St. Augustine, Florida. He appropriated the name from the WWE because he is a fan of professional wrestling. He gathered gifts and toys to give to children’s hospital patients in Florida.

Due to her treatment schedule, Tarpley realized she would have to miss her 16th birthday party. She requested donations towards the Pediatric Cancers and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta instead of a celebration and gifts. She wished to assist those with sickle cell disease and cancer. They then met Vitale.

The Grande and Korney families were introduced to Vitale through family friends. In a letter to him, Tarpley. They joined a bigger group there to fight cancer alongside them because of their own experiences of how they are thriving and their empathy for other cancer sufferers. Each of them has participated in the V Foundation’s annual gala with their families.

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Since 2006, Vitale’s Gala has earned more than $44 million for the V Foundation and pediatric cancer research. The sports community and cancer survivors like Tarpley, Grande, and Korney would frequently attend before the pandemic, along with close to 1,000 other visitors.

I was thrilled to see so many athletes and coaches at the gala supporting [cancer research], said Korney, who is now 17 and has been cancer-free for a year. “Beyond words, I was. Seeing so many people gathered in this enormous hall to support was a momentous occasion.”

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According to Grande, these men genuinely want to support cancer research. “Then I was really thinking, “I want to do that.” When I’m older, I hope to ape Dick Vitale. I’d like to continue his legacy.”

In order to be a broadcaster like Vitale and help Vitale overcome cancer as he did, Grande believes that playing sports in the future may not be an option for him. However, Vitale’s legacy with the V Foundation and as a fighter in the fight against cancer is also what has made an impression.

The word that most describes the impact that Vitale and his work have had on Grande, Tarpley, and Korney is an inspiration. Like Vitale and Valvano before him, cancer has affected their life, and they have decided to devote their time to working to assist others.

For the rest of my life, I can continue doing this work, Tarpley stated. “I want to keep doing it because it’s a part of who I am now.”


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