Dick Vitale – Remembering Jim Valvano today, this week and every day after

I’m looking forward to hosting Tuesday’s game between Iowa and Duke at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of college basketball. It is part of the Jimmy V Classic.

Now more than ever, after battling melanoma and lymphoma, going through the chemotherapy, scans and blood work, my heart goes out to every cancer patient out there. I know what they’re going through. The messages and letters of support have been so important to my recovery.

The Jimmy V Classic is always special and it’s exciting to have four ranked teams in action. Texas and Illinois meet in the second game. It will be fun to see Kris Murray, Tyrese Hunter, Dereck Lively, Terrence Shannon and more in action.

This is an important week for ESPN. The annual Jimmy V Week helps raise funds to help fight the dreaded cancer. I wholeheartedly ask everyone to donate if they can. You could help save someone you love.

The problem is, cancer never goes away. We will not stop pursuing the dream of eliminating cancer. I am currently cancer free, it doesn’t stop. I still have scans and exams and blood work to do. We need dollars so please help. You can go to www.v.org/donate or dickvitaleonline.com to help. 100 percent of the donations go directly to cancer research.

It’s hard to believe that Jim Valvano has been dead for almost 30 years – the dreaded disease that took his premature life in May 1993. His legacy lives on as we fight cancer. And we’ve made progress.

The V Foundation has raised and helped millions of dollars, but there is still a long way to go. The grants have helped cure numerous cancers and progress is great.

Jimmy was such a special person. I can’t believe he’s been gone for so long. We must defeat this disease that affects so many lives.

I have heard so many stories from people whose families have been affected by cancer. The good news is the progress made in improving this fight. There’s still a long way to go.

Jimmy and I shared a passion for life. We both had so much love for our families and had such a great time working together in the ESPN studio. I remember the laughs we had at work during the tournament.

Some fans will catch Jimmy V’s legacy through basketball as his wolfpack cut the nets in Albuquerque as national champions in one of the biggest upsets of all time. It was so memorable back in 1983, ending with Lorenzo Charles’ winning basket that lives on in the minds of fans who love Cinderella stories.

I believe his legacy lives on in this valiant fight against cancer. That’s quite a legacy to cherish.

I vividly remember coming to Jimmy’s amazing speech as he said, “Don’t give up, never give up.” He was in so much pain that night that he needed help to get on stage and to come down again. Still, he was so amazing that night and people will always remember his passion and emotion in such a difficult situation.

That speech was certainly a big part of his legacy. People still speak of that speech and his courage in delivering it. It was a legendary moment that will live on forever.

I am so proud that the V Foundation for Cancer Research has raised millions and millions of dollars to fight this disease. I’m proud to be on a wonderful board that’s working so hard in this fight.

Understand that funding for pediatric cancer research is limited, only four cents out of every dollar goes towards funding. It gives researchers an opportunity to find ways to beat this thing.

Great people like current V Foundation CEO Shane Jacobson, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Jimmy’s brother Nick Valvano, Bob Lloyd, Susan Braun, ESPN President Jimmy Pittaro, ESPN President George Boddenheimer and others have been so diligent at this worked to raise funds for this cause over the years.

I am often asked why I am so committed to the fight against cancer. I have five grandchildren and I can’t imagine how I would feel if they were sick. I’ve seen so many families affected by cancer and it just sucks.

I have seen how cancer affects those around cancer patients as well as those with the disease. I worked for the V Foundation trying to raise money for cancer research to get rid of this terrible disease. It affects so many people. Cancer doesn’t judge you, it just wreaks havoc on victims’ families and friends. So I will ask and plead for help until my last breath.

It’s so emotional when you hear that someone else has died from cancer. We need to erase it, and we’ve done a lot already. There is still so much to do in this fight.

I’ve had so much fun with Jimmy over the years. We talked about basketball, about life, about our families. His loss had a profound impact on my life. That’s why V Week and ESPN’s efforts stand out.

I work year-round to raise money through my Dickie V Gala with the goal of donating millions to the V Foundation for research grants. I’ve seen so many families affected by cancer and it stinks. My event is in Sarasota, Florida at the Ritz-Carlton next May.

I’m so proud of it because so many people are working so hard to make it a success. What always makes me proud is the fact that all the celebrities in attendance get their money’s worth. They don’t get paid a cent and are happy to be part of the evening. No eye stays dry as we introduce our team of cancer survivors, children who fought bravely.

It’s so emotional when we invite families affected by cancer. No dry eye stays in the house as they hear stories of people who have beaten the disease and are enjoying life. There are reflections on their struggle and how they are big winners in the game of life.

Jimmy V’s legacy lives on in such a positive way. I know he looks down from heaven so proud of what has been done in his name. I know he would be so proud of the Jimmy V Classic and cared so much about the roundball baby! Another year of the Classic on the books as we raise precious $$$.

We all miss you, love you and will always remember you Jimmy! I know you will look down on these two exciting games.

This is the time of year when people help each other. The life you are helping to save could be that of a loved one.

The 18th Annual Dick Vitale Gala Benefitting The V Foundation will be held on May 5, 2023 at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. Visit dickvitaleonline.com for more information.

https://www.espn.com/espn/dickvitale/story/_/id/35188328/dick-vitale-remembering-jim-valvano-today-week-every-day-after Dick Vitale – Remembering Jim Valvano today, this week and every day after

Emma Bowman

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