His rise to NFL stardom was the subject of the 2006 Disney Movie, “Invincible” starring Mark Wahlberg, but even former Philadelphia Eagle’s star Vince Papale knew that was just a title. When he was diagnosed with colon cancer 13 years ago he found out that he was anything but “Invincible”, but that did not mean h couldn’t fight.
For his courage in his fight to beat colon cancer he was honored with the Gilda Radner Courage Award during the Roswell Park alliance 24th Anniversary All Star Night at Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The program served to honor those like Papali who have fought so hard to overcome the disease and to also raise funding for research and patient programs at the cancer institute.
Since having surgery Papale has not had a recurrence of his cancer, and now devotes his time and energy to speaking out for cancer research and raising funds to help others win their fight. At his frequent public speaking engagements the former NFL star advocates cancer screenings and urges people to get checkups and colonoscopies.
If you haven’t seen the movie “Invincible”, you should. Papale’s amazing story of walking on to the Philadelphia Eagles at the age of 30 is awe inspiring, and Disney does great job telling the story. Though it’s impossible for anyone to have known that he would go on to accomplish a feat much more inspiring than making a pro football team later in life, I think that if you were to ask anyone back in his playing days how he’d handle a fight with cancer they’d no doubt say he would attack it with all his might, and do whatever it took to beat it. Papale is a true, blue collar hero, and an unbelievable person.
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