A Tribute to Dino Scoppettone
After his death, Dino's dad wrote, "Dino was so many things; a writer, a musician, and more than anything else, a fabulous friend." He was also a sports authority, having become a regular reader of Sports Illustrated when he was 7 years old. Although he never got the chance to marry and have children of his own, children of all ages loved him because he never failed to acknowledge them and make them laugh. So many wrote to tell us that he never let anyone go unacknowledged and always provided them with a chuckle or two. He was a master at impersonation and often used this talent to entertain both adults and children. Although he was a writer by trade, his unofficial mission in life was to entertain and make people happy. He had an amazingly sharp mind and was the "go-to" guy for all kinds of trivia.
On May 13, 2008, Dino went to the doctor for a persistent pain he had been experiencing for several weeks. Scans and a biopsy revealed that he had a large mass in his abdomen. The diagnosis was dedifferentiated retroperitoneal liposarcoma. Proposed treatment was to surgically remove the tumor and follow up with radiation and chemo. After losing 3 weeks trying to get authorization from his insurance to have the surgery done by experts at Stanford (which wasn't one of his HMO providers), he had the tumor removed on the 9th of June, along with his right adrenal gland and kidney, and part of his liver and bowel. His tumor weighed 30 pounds and had spread seeds throughout his abdomen and up his spinal cord. No radiation was done because of the crippling effect it would have on such a young person (he was 38 years old). After many weeks of suffering, Dino died on August 18, 2008, barely 3 months from diagnosis.
Dino never had a chance at survival. Everything about his cancer was worst-case scenario. He knew what the outcome would be, but he was determined to fight it and never uttered one word of self-pity. It was obvious that, even at the end, he was trying to spare his family the heartbreak of knowing how much he was suffering. I never knew how truly strong he was. You can get to know him better by reading the blog he wrote throughout his journey. He started it in May after he was diagnosed and continued it as long as he was physically able. His dad took it over until after his memorial.
It has been three years since Dino's death. We are still receiving messages from his friends that they think of him every day and miss him still. He lived his life to the fullest, and we continue to try to follow his lead. Because of its rarity, liposarcoma is not in the public eye and therefore doesn't receive the funding that other cancers do. This website is working toward raising the awareness level of the many forms of sarcoma. My son would want to spare others from the suffering he experienced.
Donate in Dino's Memory
To make an online donation in Dino's memory: During the donation process, click on the blue "dedicate this donation" link and type Dino's name before clicking on the large blue "proceed" button.
At least 97% of your donations in honor of Dino will be used for peer-reviewed sarcoma research. We hope that this research will better the lives of countless people who face this disease, both now and in the future.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation in Dino's memory, please consider donating by check, as checks incur no processing fees. To donate securely online with a 4.9% processing fee, use the "donate now" button.
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