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Survivor Rich Canci: Cancer isn’t politically correct and neither am I

By March 11, 2017News

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Five Time Foundation is fighting cancer, but there will be no pink balloons or sit-down dinners.

Founded by Rich Canci, a 24-year-old five-time cancer survivor, the nonprofit aims to provide other survivors and their families with funds to cover costs not handled by health insurance, especially nutritional and alternative therapies, something that has become important to him in the last few years as he takes charge of his health and recommends his cancer-free peers do too.

“I feel PC is taking over, and its even worse when it comes to fund raising and dinners get boring! So i took my bartending skills and my social media clips and combined it to set a new standard for the foundation,” said Canci.

In August, Canci used those skills to challenge N.J. Gov. Chris Christie for procrastinating on his states medical marijuana policies by not too gently pointing out Christie might do best to pay more attention to the health experts.

Canci was diagnosed with cancer when he was 8. It was osteosarcoma, a bone cancer and he had to have part of his leg amputated. The cancer recurred at ages 11, 14, 21 and 22, resulting in more surgeries and chemotherapy.

His mom, Judy Canci, died when he was 18. He lives with his dad in their home in Annadale.

It has all resulted in an irreverent, generous, playful, I-owe-the-universe-nothing attitude. The tag line of his foundation is F*** Cancer. He is also unapologetic.

“I don’t think cancer has a filter. It will do anything to you. You should do whatever it takes to fight it,” he said in an Advance profile.

He is launching the foundation Saturday, Jan. 23 with a party at Big Nose Kate’s where he has been pouring drinks and making sure everyone is having a good time for years. He has used his connections there and as a singer-songwriter with the metal band When All Else Fails to host fundraising parties for families battling cancer. The nonprofit is formalizing those efforts.

Setting a new trend for fundraising through fun parties and sexy social media promotion would be just fine with him, but in the meantime, he intends for people to have a good time, win some raffles, purchase some F*** Cancer swag and help each other out.

DJ Vinnie Cee will be cranking out the dance tunes.

The over-21 party on the 23rd starts around 8 p.m. and is for anyone who has had cancer who knows someone who has had it. Just about everyone. Big Nose Kate’s is at 2484 Arthur Kill Road in Rossville.

Canci has fun and airs his very strong opinions in his Canci Clips on Instagram. Here are a couple of the more playful ones. His observations on life as an amputee, a dating 20-something and life on Staten Island are a not quite PC enough to publish.

By Kathryn Carse | carse@siadvance.com