Famed college basketball commentator Dick Vitale, better known as Dickie V, announced a lymphoma diagnosis in October of 2021. And as you’d expect, he received a slew of support and well wishes. But one letter in particular from a special fan named Charlie Osborn stood out and deeply touched the sportscaster’s heart.
For many, the voice of Dickie V and college basketball are synonymous. He’s enjoyed a career with ESPN spanning more than 40 years, providing commentary during games as well as in-studio analysis. He quickly became an icon thanks to his natural charisma and enthusiasm. And even those who aren’t sports fans recognize his famous catchprase, “This is awesome, baby!”
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So, the sports world wept when doctors handed Dickie V a lymphoma diagnosis.
Dickie V Lymphoma Battle
Dick Vitale and his wife Lorraine had just finished celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary when a dermatology appointment revealed a place on his nose with melanoma. Surgery removed the spot but then a scarier discovery soon followed.
Doctors diagnosed Dickie V at age 82 with lymphoma, a type of cancer that impacts cells that are part of the body’s immune system. And as he entered into an aggressive treatment plan including chemotherapy, the popular sportscaster stepped away from college basketball.
After a while, Dickie V’s health stats pleased his doctors enough to where they allowed him to go back to work. And it was an incredibly emotional moment when he returned to the courtside action.
WATCH: Dick Vitale College Basketball Return
However, the return was short-lived. After commentating at 12 games, Dick began having trouble with his voice. He’d had successful surgery in 2008 for ulcerated vocal cords. And now, it turned out, he again had lesions on his vocal cords, unrelated to his cancer.
Thankfully, another surgery wasn’t necessary. But it did mean another departure from college basketball. Dickie V would have to sit out the rest of the season and give his voice a rest. All while continuing to fight cancer.
“Needless to say that tore out my heart, but I must care more about my health than jump shots,” he said.
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Though the famous announcer may have been resting his voice, he was anything but quiet! Dickie V faced his health struggles with his usual optimism and enthusiasm. The natural motivator chronicled his journey through social media, inspiring so many.
But then Dickie V received some inspiration himself!
Friends, family, and fans from all over continued lifting Dick Vitale up during his cancer battle. But when a handwritten letter from a fan named Charlie Osborn arrived, it hit Dick hard.
“It really touched me big time,” he said.
Dickie V knew he had to share it with the rest of the world. And we’re so glad he did!
Fan Prays For Dickie V Cancer Battle
Charlie, a young man with Down Syndrome, poured out his heart in the most sincere prayer for Dickie V. He asked God to walk alongside the beloved sportscaster and to make him victorious in his cancer battle. The “Prayer for Dick Vitale” read:
Remain by his side as he continues to fight cancer. Remain at peace with him. Bring him your sheltering wing and guide him to beat cancer. I just ask you, Lord, to stay by his side and help him beat cancer. I just want your servant to feel he is loved by all. Comfort him in times of trouble. With your help, let him be able to beat cancer. For it is written, “Even though I walk through the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Do not desert or abandon him. tell him not to be afraid, tell him that you love him. together, he can beat cancer. Let him be a follower and a true example of your love, mercy, and kindness.
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What a beautiful prayer! God just loves when we pour out our hearts like this to Him. Let us all continue to lift Dickie V up as he battles lymphoma.
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Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Dick Vitale