Longtime ESPN college basketball commentator Dick Vitale is battling cancer again. The 82-year-old announced on Monday he's been diagnosed with lymphoma. This news comes a couple of months after Vitale announced he was battling melanoma earlier this year. For the second cancer diagnosis, Vitale will undergo six months of chemotherapy and a steroid regimen to fight the lymphoma.
The medical experts told Vitale that the chemotherapy he's receiving has a 90% cure rate. Vitale also said he will continue to work for ESPN as he continues treatment. "With all that said, I consider myself very lucky," Vitale said. "I've seen firsthand the devastation that cancer can have on families, on children, and on all of our loved ones. It can bring you to your knees. It's physically and emotionally exhausting. It robs you of so many things, including life itself for some of the most unfortunate patients. I never lose sight of that, and that's why I feel so lucky."
Vitale also talked about having support from ESPN and his family. "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. They have been so encouraging over the past three weeks as I've undergone one test after another in trying to analyze what was causing my symptoms.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. Thanks so much for your love."
Vitale began with ESPN during the 1979-80 season, just months after the Network's launch in 1979. Over the years, Vitale has become the face of college basketball, leading him to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Vitale called the first college basketball game on ESPN, which was Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979. He has since called over 1,000 games.
"I'm living the American dream," Vitale once said, per ESPN's bio. "I learned from my mom and dad, who didn't have a formal education, but had doctorates of love. They told me that if you gave 110 percent all the time, a lot of beautiful things will happen. I may not always be right, but no one can ever accuse me of not having a genuine love and passion for whatever I do. And ESPN has been grateful enough to recognize this."