PITTSBURGH - It was evident the Steelers had their struggles on the field this season, but for the Delimpo family and 11-year-old Levi, his struggle is with life and just how fragile it can be.
“Just pure chaos almost,” Tami Delimpo said. “It’s every parent's worst nightmare.”
At 10 years old, Levi Delimpo was in constant pain and went through multiple tests over a couple-year period and finally was diagnosed with Ewings sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
“Finally it did come back and I’ll never forget,” Tami remembered. “It was late at night when the doctors came in and told me.”
“I thought it was tough to hear that I had cancer,” Levi said. “But then the doctor came in and said, it’s no big deal. It’s just another step that we’re going to have to take.”
After the initial shock of the diagnosis, Levi chose to fight. He endured 47 rounds of chemotherapy, a week of radiation and underwent surgery to replace his hip and his femur but fought with the motivation of his favorite Steelers player, James Conner.
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“He had cancer and defeated it,” Levi said. “I had cancer and I defeated it too.”
“Levi’s basketball number was 30 and we talked about that in the beginning,” Tami said. “If he can do that and your dream is to play for the Steelers, then you can do it too.”
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Days after finishing chemo and a brief encounter back in October, Levi and Conner finally met Sunday at Heinz Field. While the meeting was magical and a brief respite, the harsh reality is Levi’s cancer remains and so too, a future with few guarantees.
“It can kill people,” Levi said about cancer.
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