Gaetano R. Antonacci
07/10/1948 – 09/19/2008
The simplest things were always the most important to my father – eating dinner with his family; having some drinks outside with the neighbors; watching a baseball game with me. He lived for those moments, and they were the motivators that helped him maintain a courageous outlook through his struggle with cancer. Despite the punishment from the disease and its treatment, my father sought to conquer his illness right through his final days. He understood the importance of being there to dance with my sister, Katrina, at her wedding. He longed to see another sister of mine, Mary, complete her journey of self-discovery though education and ambition.
He battled for as long as possible if only because it afforded him more time to spend with the love of his life, my mother Kathy. There is a quote by former N.C. State men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano, a New Yorker and Italian-American himself that seems to embody the resilience my father maintained:
“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.”
My father was a man who loved and savored life long before his illness, and he refused to let anything get in the way of that.
Target Goal: Target Goal: Every Little Bit Helps
Purpose: To increase the awareness, and prevent Skin Cancer / Melanoma.
Team Captain: Kathy Antonacci
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