SARASOTA, Fla. — It's a big day in Dick Vitale's fight against cancer as he'll be receiving care with some of the newest technology and support in the Tampa Bay area.
The longtime ESPN broadcaster announced he'll receive chemotherapy at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's new Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute Oncology Tower, which opened Monday. It features 56 private suites for patients and nine state-of-the-art operating rooms with robotic capabilities.
"This is something that the community really deserves. We're gonna be able to offer pretty much any kind of treatment here in one location," Dr. Richard Brown, medical director of the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute, said in an earlier interview.
Vitale teased on Twitter if all goes well, his doctors will give him the OK to call games on ESPN between treatments. Tuesday morning, the Tampa Bay-area local shared with his audience that he arrived at the hospital with a "fantastic nursing staff" helping to get him ready.
In an article written for ESPN Front Row, Vitale in October explained that earlier this summer, he went through several procedures to remove melanoma. But now, he says he has lymphoma in an unrelated diagnosis.
Doctors plan to treat Vitale, who lives in Lakewood Ranch, with steroids and six months of chemotherapy. According to him, his doctors have told him the treatment has a 90-percent cure rate.
Vitale has been a broadcaster with ESPN since 1979, commentating during the network's first-ever major NCAA basketball game.
Prior to appearing on-air, he had a successful playing and coaching career in professional basketball. In 2008, Vitale was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Vitale sits on the board of V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and basketball coach Jim Valvano in 1993 to raise money for cancer research.