Thomas Valenti is no stranger to dealing with the struggles of a cancer diagnosis. His first experience with the disease occurred back in 2004 when his doctors discovered he had colon cancer. Luckily, they found it early and were able to surgically remove the cancer.
Fast forward through over 10 years of testing following the surgery, and Thomas thought he had made it through the worst parts of his disease. But what he didn’t realize, is that his cancer could spread and metastasize in other parts of his body. When Thomas went to his doctor to get his back checked, the last thing he was expecting was another cancer diagnosis.
Thomas was diagnosed with stage 4 spinal cancer in 2017. Thomas’ doctors told him “he was lucky to be there talking to them” as the life expectancy of that type of disease was around 3 years.
When asked about living beyond his disease, Thomas simply said “I’m in my fifth year now, and I’ve got another 20 or so to go."
Fighting through it
A brilliant artist from the South Bronx, Thomas knew one thing about his diagnosis – he didn’t want it to slow down his work painting.
Following his diagnosis, Thomas underwent 3 rounds of intensive radiation concentrated on his spine, which unfortunately led to complications that left him partially paralyzed. Still, despite continued complications, he continued his recommended treatments and surgeries to get back to what matters most – his passion for art. Thomas attributes his grit to his upbringing in New York, which exposed him to things that taught him about both the beauty and struggles of the world around him.
“Growing up in the mean streets of the South Bronx has had a profound effect on my life and the way I view the world.”
The ReVital difference
After fighting through his complications, Thomas was ready to get back to what matters most with the help of his incredibly supportive family. A combination of therapies has helped Thomas realize his goal of returning to his passion for painting.
He has made physical therapy part of his daily routine. His individualized exercises have helped him regain his posture and range of motion, helping him with aspects of life even outside of his work. Thomas continues to work on regaining his strength in order to continue doing what matters most to him. His therapy still helps him improve every day:
- Stronger and more flexible
- More capable of walking without apparatus
- More coordinated, fewer falls
- Greater well being
Thomas is currently back to working on his art, expressing his passion for his view of the world every day.