Dempsey Center Helps Turner Cowboy with Cancer

Teo Abbruzzese is a cowboy through and through.

"We always say there's nothing like riding a good horse in fresh country," said Abbruzzese.

Running, herding and caring for livestock is in Teo's blood---but what happened first in 2013---not even the toughest cowboy could be prepared for.

"I had a mole on my left shoulder that started to change, started to ulcerate a little bit," said Teo. "When that came back as melanoma, everything went to tumbling.  One thing after another…plastic surgery, surgeries, lymph nodes." 

Cancer may have slowed him, but it couldn't stop him.

Then suddenly, Teo was dealing with stage four melanoma.

"Probably in the span of 3 or 4 days my doctors were telling me I had months, weeks, then days left."

But this cowboy continues to battle.

In a month or so, Abbruzzese hopes he’ll be well enough to start immunotherapy again to keep his cancer at bay.

Now he shares his strength and his story with other young adults who have cancer---through a social program launched by the Dempsey Center called NOMO-which stands for not on my own.

"It definitely has a social component to it.  If we don't want to talk about cancer, we're not pressed to talk about cancer," said Teo. "We can bring it up in leisure and joke about it-- kind of make light of it, which for our age group definitely laugh at it a bit when everyone's so serious." 

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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