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Cancer Survivor to Attend the Super Bowl, Bodybuilder Dies of Cancer and More

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From a cancer survivor who will attend the Super Bowl thanks to the Make-a-Wish foundation to the death of a former professional bodybuilder from the disease, here’s what is happening in the oncology space this week.

“Real Housewives of Orange County” alum Gretchen Rossi announced the death of her fiancé’s son, Grayson Smiley-Arroyo.

Grayson died at the age of 22 after a “lengthy battle with cancer,” Rossi announced on Instagram.

"Our rational minds told us this day might come, but our hearts always held onto the hope that this day would not come to fruition,” the post read. "He was an angel on this earth and an incredible warrior…a warrior like no one has ever seen before. He fought everyday through his pain and discomfort to find joy in the smallest of things. He was always singing (and) dancing (and) laughing despite his circumstances. He was a true beacon of light and hope."

A 19-year-old cancer survivor will attend the Super Bowl.

The Make-a-Wish foundation is sending Jestin Schulte, a 19-year-old cancer survivor, to Super Bowl LVII.

Schulte was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in 2021, and was deemed cancer free one year ago. Now, he, his parents and a group of 16 other Make-a-Wish kids will head to the Super Bowl to watch the Kansas City Chiefs at the Philadelphia Eagles. In an interview with Fox17, Schulte said he hopes the Chiefs win.

“I’m just looking forward to the whole experience - the big game and all the activities that Make-a-Wish is planning for us," Jestin said.

A group of patients with cancer inspired a Super Bowl ad encouraging others to celebrate life.

An ad that will run in the Buffalo, New York, market on Super Bowl Sunday shows a man looking at photos as he says, “I wouldn’t have made it without my family — my whole family. The kind you keep forever.” He then looks at a picture of himself celebrating a birthday in the hospital with clinicians all around him.

The commercial for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center was inspired by patients who were treated there and was produced by the hospital’s marketing department.

“There are so many emotions running through your head when you’re first diagnosed with cancer and all along your treatment journey—but what are you feeling when you get home in those quiet moments you have to yourself? What are you looking forward to next? That is what we wanted to highlight,” Dr. Amy Case, chair of supportive care and Lee Foundation Endowed chair of the department of supportive and palliative care at Roswell Park said in an interview that was published on the cancer center’s website.

Bodybuilder Tonya Knight died of cancer.

Tonya Knight, a former professional bodybuilder whose career — which included being named Ms. International in the Arnold Classic in 1991 — spanned from the 1980s until 1993 died from cancer. She was 56 years old.

The Missouri native was inducted into the International Federation of Bodybuilding Hall of Fame (IFBB) in 2011.

“So sad to hear the passing of Tonya Knight. She was a great athlete and great person,” fellow IFBB inductee and bodybuilding world champion Rich Gaspari said on Twitter.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.


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