For the final podcast of 2022, we have a special guest that captures the spirit of the holiday season. Northeastern sophomore Phil Di Blasi recently completed a 13-month cycle of radiation and chemotherapy to combat a diagnosis of medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer found in the cerebellum.
Di Blasi’s baseball dreams were postponed when he was diagnosed in the fall of his freshman year in 2021. Doctors performed an eight-hour surgery to remove a mass from Di Blasi’s brain. Once the doctors determined the growth was malignant, he began the radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
“They told me, ‘We found a mass on your brain stem, and we have to do emergency surgery tomorrow to get it removed,'” Di Blasi said. “At that point, they didn’t know whether it was cancer. They had to do some tests to figure it out. I said, ‘Wow, alright.’ They said, ‘We’ll call your parents.’ I said, ‘Yeah, just tell them I’ll be fine.’ And let’s do it.’
“When they told me it was cancer, I was drugged out from the surgery. It was an eight-hour surgery. They said, ‘There’s no nerve damage. There’s no damage to the brain. There’s a chance you could come back from this, but it’s going to take time.’ That’s all I needed was to know the doctors thought I had a chance.”