For each PuppyUp Walk, the Event Manager and their Walk Team select both a Human Cancer Hero and a Canine Cancer Hero, to be honored during the Walk ceremonies.
These Heroes are chosen because of their exemplary attitude towards their particular type of cancer, showing bravery and hopefulness in their fight against this terrible disease.
The 2018 Human Hero for the Shoreline walk is Robert Castiglione. His story is shown below, as narrated by his sister-in-law, Marie Rascati.
Here is my brother-in-law’s recollection of the cancer he had.
What type of cancer? Prostate Cancer
When diagnosed? 2008
How did you deal with it?
Positive mental attitude that he would be okay.
Remission? 12 years
How did you deal with the scariness of the cancer?
Support from my wife, my sister and my daughters
How did you manage the cancer?
First they marked my back side to pinpoint where they were going to put the radiation. I never cared for tattoos but whatever they needed to do to make it work, I did. I went to Father McGiveny Center at St. Raphael’s Hospital for radiation treatments.
His words – “When I went for my first treatment, I did not know what to expect. They told me to lay down on my back side and told me to be perfectly still. Then this machine was over me and focused itself somehow and I was praying to the Lord – don’t make this hurt.” When the machine started, I was holding my breath waiting for something to happen and there was nothing. I started talking and they said “no talking allowed”.
I went there every day for 30 days except Saturday and Sunday. The only problem I had was they wanted me to drink a bottle of water before my radiation. So I learned not to drink the water at home but to wait and drink it in the hospital parking lot.
I had Dr. Cardenellie. My great niece was on duty all the time I was there. My last treatment was New Year’s Eve 2008 and I have been cancer free since then. I have a physical once a year and I am checked at that time.
Marie Rascati for Robert Castiglione