Carmen DiRusso 02/27/20

07/16/1944 – 02/27/2020

Carmen is my grandfather.  He was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma when I was just 13 years old.  A surgeon found cancer in his foot, after he stepped on broken glass from a pickle jar. My grandfather was the hardest worker and strongest man I had ever known. The Melanoma metastasized to his lymph nodes, lungs, liver, kidneys, and brain all within a year. He had six gamma knife procedures and one invasive brain surgery. The last surgery my grandfather had before he passed was the day after Christmas in 2019, it was a gamma knife procedure. He was only supposed to have two tumors removed but the MRI before his procedure showed 7 more growths. He was so upset, and I remember telling him how strong he was.

My grandfather was my best friend.  I talked to him every single day while I was away at school. I noticed things were taking a turn for the worse around Valentine’s Day, when he stopped calling. I decided to come home a few days before my spring break was scheduled because things just didn’t seem right. I came home on Wednesday, February 26th, and my grandfather passed away on Thursday, February 27th. He was the patriarch of my family, he worked right up until the day he passed, and he is missed dearly. His disease never defined him, he battled and survived for 7 long years, and was truly a force to be reckoned with. He survived by his wife of 53 years, twin brother, son and daughter, and grandson and granddaughter.

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