Local athlete and cancer patient has ‘big’ wish granted

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Bobby Colantonio has always been an athlete. Before heading to the University of Alabama to throw for the track team, Colantonio grew up playing football in Rhode Island.

True fans, he and his father are headed to the big game, a trip made possible by the A Wish Come True Organization.

Days after Colantonio began his college career at Alabama, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma — a rare bone cancer. Colantonio was forced to leave school and return to Rhode Island. Now a patient at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, the 18-year-old receives chemotherapy every other week and radiation every single day.

But now there’s something new to focus on — heading to Houston to see the big game for the first time.

“Nothing’s like the Super Bowl. Nothing at all,” he said.

When A Wish Come True offered him a gift, Colantonio said he couldn’t think of what he wanted.

Then, “I thought of the Super Bowl. And I thought what’s the worst they can say, no?” he recalled.

Colantonio and his dad leave next Friday for the event.

“I have some of my best memories in the locker room and stuff like that. So, it’s a wish come true to go to the Super Bowl.”

Meanwhile, his battle continues. Colantonio’s primary tumor is in his femur, but there is also one in each hip, his other femur, and four in his lungs.

Despite the diagnosis, he remains optimistic. In scans taken around Thanksgiving, Colantonio learned the primary tumor had shrunk by two-thirds and the others by 50 percent.

Colontanio plans to head back to Alabama as soon as he is healthy. The former Barrington High School student was an all-stater and national champion weight thrower.

Along with A Wish Come True, the Hopkinton and Narragansett Police Departments helped raise money for Colantonio’s wish.