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High 5: Cancer patient's humor inspires others

By Alex Boye | Posted - Jul. 8, 2011 at 9:20 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Dov Siporin is a true survivor who inspires others with his optimistic attitude and sense of humor. For that, we gave him a KSL High 5.

Dov has been battling stage IV colon cancer for almost four years. He has already outlived the life expectancy of someone with his diagnosis. Matthew Caldwell wrote, "Because of his relentless fight he is a great example of courage and a superhero and inspiration to many."

Dov is always willing to share his story and does everywhere he goes. He is the first to start a conversation in a waiting room in the hospital and never misses an opportunity to brighten someone else's day.

–Matthew Caldwell

Dov has experienced "about 4,000 hours of chemo, about three and a half months of radiation and about seven surgeries." He knows what it's like to struggle, but he still has reasons to smile.

"I've got a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old boy and they're wonderful," he told KSL.

Matthew nominated Dov for the High 5. "He talks constantly about the stories of his kids and that the reason he fights cancer every day is because he wants to spend another moment with his kids," he explained.

Dov uses humor to help ease his pain. From donning a bunny costume during an interview with one of the top oncologists in the nation to creating Chemo Cupid for Valentine's Day, Dov's crazy costumes are popular in the cancer community.

"Mostly it's just to get laughs during chemo," he said. "It's a rough time for everyone and so I figure to do something to get people laughing."

When Dov needed a PET scan, he showed up at the Huntsman Cancer Institute dressed like a lion, cheering up both doctors and patients. One of them was Matthew's mother, Kathie Caldwell.

"My mom did not know who was in the costume at first, but stopped to take a picture with the lion," Matthew wrote in his nomination. "Dov removed the lion's head and put an automatic smile on my mom's face when she realized it was the friend she had made two months prior. She told me that afternoon that she had planned on canceling treatments that day, but Dov gave her the hope to keep on pushing forward."

Kathie Caldwell first met Dov in 2010 at a Relay for Life event. Exhausted and frail from battling metastatic breast cancer, Kathie was ready to give up.

You would never know how much he is suffering because he has such an amazing sense of humor and energy for life.

–Matthew Caldwell

Matthew wrote, "In the first lap around the track Dov directed the survivor's lap and took a special interest in helping my mother in making it around the track. Defeated, frail, and ready to stop treatment, my mother had originally planned on being pushed in a wheelchair, but Dov encouraged her to walk the lap, and she did with his help."

"Even though she didn't have much energy, Dov carried her the whole way and the whole time was giving her motivational things about why she should continue to battle cancer," he added.

Drawing from Dov's strength, Kathie continued treatments for another six months, giving her family more time with her before she passed away earlier this year.

Matthew said, "He's helping a whole other world of cancer patients who need that extra strength, that extra hope."

"You get through the rough part however you can, and then you really enjoy the good part," Dov said. "The good time is absolutely wonderful."

Dov goes through about 60 hours of chemotherapy every other week. He shares his story as a motivational speaker to whoever will listen and says he's determined to not let cancer confine him.

If you know someone who deserves a High 5, nominate them here.


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Alex Boye


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