Dean Randazzo story on livestrongblog.org

Check out this story on the Livestrong website’s blog from pro surfer Dean Randazzo about his ordeal and struggle with cancer.
Dean has gone through the fight twice with cancer and continues to inspire and create hope for those who need it most. Visit Dean’s website below and see how you can spread awareness and help the cause.

deanrandazzocancerfoundation.org

From the article at livestrongblog.org

My name is Dean Randazzo I’m a Professional Surfer. I was born and raised on the Jersey shore but now reside in San Diego, California with my fiancé Barbara and my 3yr old boy Dean Jr.

My life before cancer consisted of traveling around the world surfing and competing in surf competitions. When you are a healthy athlete you feel almost invincible and cancer would be the farthest possibility in your mind. That is how I felt, until that day in May of 2001 when I got that diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. I can remember every emotion at that time especially the one when you are facing death in the face. But for me I re-grouped and took the challenge head on treating it like the biggest competition I’d ever faced. Amidst my lowest point, I thought how can I turn this situation positive?

I started the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation in August 2001to help others dealing with cancer issues. Our foundation now has four major fundraising events each year and has raised close to $200,000 dollars and has helped many in need of assistance.

My treatment lasted six months and I achieved a full remission. During my treatments, I focused on getting back in the water and back on top. I was not going to let this cancer stop me! I fought hard and trained harder. My first event back was a big prestigious World Qualifying Series competition at Lower Trestles Califorinia I places 3rd a great result for my first evcnt back! I wanted to make a statement not only to the on-lookers but more importantly to the cancer! In 2005 the cancer returned.

Once again, all of the emotions were back and once again I faced it as I did before. This time the treatment would be a stem cell transplant with my own stem cells. In July of 2006 I endured the treatment at UCSD. During my treatments I had my surfboard in my room and I was fired up to prove that the cancer would not stop me! A month and a half later I won my first contest since leaving the hospital. Unfortunatly, again the cancer returned by the end of the year and I tried cyber-knife radiation at the beginning of 2007. Once again, the cancer returned and in may of 2008 I endure another stem cell transplant this time using my brothers stem cells fortunately, he was a perfect match. In February 2010, I got a ct scan and all was clear! Back in remission and feeling good! It felt like a ton of bricks was lifted off my back when I got that result.

One month from that, in Florida I won my first competition since the transplant. It felt so good to be back on top after all that I had been through. The last stem cell transplant left my body broken. It was a long, long road back with many ups and downs. Now, I feel like I can move forward and focus on the future. I really appreciate the little things and look forward to spending time with my family and watching my son grow.