Honoring Giuseppe Cunzolo

by Nicole Cunzolo Heasley

My father, Giuseppe Cunzolo, who was born and raised in the south of Italy, grew up in the sun, and never avoided it after coming to America. When he was around 55, he developed a small bump on the inside of his ear. After ignoring it for months, we finally convinced him to go for a check-up. It was surreal when we were told the true diagnosis…squamous cell carcinoma. Our shock was rocked by fear when we then learned it had also spread into his lymph system, giving him a diagnosis of Stage IV. Being of Mediterranean descent, we always assumed we were immune to skin cancer – that it only affected fair-skinned individuals. But like most assumptions, this is completely incorrect! 

He received radiation treatment. We were ecstatic when a few months later, he was given a clean bill of health. Two years later, during a routine check-up, a scan showed a "hot spot," and surgery confirmed that the squamous cell carcinoma had returned. This time he’s being treated with chemotherapy and radiation. We hope this treatment will cure him for good.

Want to be a champion like Nicole? Join our community of donors — our champions  at The Skin Cancer Foundation's Tribute Circle. The Tribute Circle enables you to raise funds for the Foundation in memory or in honor of a relative, friend, or colleague, and helps ensure that the rich lives of those who have been affected by skin cancer are remembered and honored.

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