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Don't give up!

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

April 17, 2006

I am so excited about Friday night in the Big Apple! I will be at a big-time bash for the Jimmy V Foundation, honoring a pair of Hall of Fame coaches, Jim Calhoun and Jim Boeheim. We know about their national championships, but they have also inspired many who have battled cancer.

Both the Connecticut and Syracuse coach are cancer survivors. They will be toasted big-time by the V Foundation, led by the toastmaster John Saunders. I am so honored to be the featured speaker and I will talk about my obsession with trying to raise money to fight this dreaded disease.

Cancer has a tough, tough team it will play against. We are not going away, we are not folding the tent and we are attacking it big time, raising as many dollars as possible to wipe it out.

This squad is loaded with superstars from the V Foundation like Saunders, Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Lloyd, Joyce Aschenbrenner, Nick Valvano, Pam Valvano-Strasser, Jim Allegro, Rosa Gatti, Geoff Mason, Steve Bornstein, George Bodenheimer. The list goes on and on. Superstars among this group simply will not roll over and lose this fight.

The big C is a tough opponent. Every ounce of energy will be used to pursue that goal of beating cancer. Jimmy V. was a dreamer and he went after that national championship. In life, if you dream it and go for it, many times they become reality. The saying goes that if you go for a dream you might catch one.

At the end of his life, Jimmy V. had another dream, beating cancer. Finding a cure became his number one goal until the bitter end. As he said, so eloquently, cancer research cannot save my life but it can help save the life of someone you love, and my children. How prophetic he was since his daughter Jamie is battling breast cancer.

Dollars will be raised in New York City this Friday night as two Hall of Famers are honored. We will come a little bit closer in our drive and desire to beat cancer. Many beautiful people will be there, PTPers indeed for giving a helping hand.

Please call for more information on the event or if you'd like to make a donation ... 1-800-4-JIMMY V.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.