Cancer survivor's gift brings her full circle
By AMBER MOBLEY
Published November 4, 2006
A last-ditch effort for tickets to The Oprah Winfrey Show landed Kim Massetti in the studio audience Monday.
“It was just this five-sentence thing,” said Massetti.
To win tickets for a “kindness challenge” on Oprah, Massetti, of Lithia, wrote a few sentences: “In my 30s I had a health scare. I turned 40 this week. Oprah’s been a huge inspiration.”
The challenge? In one week, take $1,000 from Oprah, spend it charitably — family members excluded — and videotape that for a show to be taped Nov. 21.
An ovarian cancer survivor and registered nurse, Massetti thought of music and Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.
Thursday night, Massetti and husband Ralph Massetti scoured the city for iPods, finally finding the 10 they needed at an Apple store at International Plaza.“We bought all they had … I think they were the last iPods in town,” Kim Massetti said.
Friday morning, Massetti She came to Moffitt’s chemotherapy infusion center Friday with a duffel bag full of 10 iPod shuffles loaded with classical, jazz and easy listening music.
“I never had to have chemo but it was something I was very fearful of,” she said.
“I thought, if people had an iPod to listen to some music and relax, maybe the time would go by faster,” Massetti said.
“Now, that,” said Moffitt patient Anthony Paolino, “is a faaaantastic idea.”
“Just sitting in that chair, sometimes for six or seven hours, anything that’s brought over to you helps,” said Paolino, 62 of New Port Richey.
Although patients can watch TV during chemotherapy, Massetti’s donation makes it possible for Moffitt to offer them music for the first time , said Vicki Caraway, clinic operations manager.
A little more than an inch and a half long, the iPod shuffle holds up to 240 songs, or 12 hours of music.
Chemotherapy patient Vicki Young said the gift means she won’t have to lug her laptop to the center to listen to jazz anymore.
Young heard about Oprah’s $1,000 give-away but never expected it to hit this close to home. “Oprah does good things. She could be president,” she said.
Young, 46, of New Tampa, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March and had a double mastectomy in April.
Paolino did chemotherapy for years after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1996. Friday, he had a doctor’s appointment to find out if his bone marrow transplant was successful.
Massetti was one of more than 300 studio audience members Oprah challenged to “pay it forward” around the country.
She said she first thought to give the iPods to specific cancer patients, but decided that donating the gadgets to Moffitt would have a greater impact because more than 100 patients a day undergo chemotherapy there.
“This way, it keeps on giving,” she said.
Massetti was one of more than 300 studio audience members Winfrey challenged to “pay it forward” all around the country.
Massetti’s sister Courtney Octave of Phoenix was also on the show, but she’s still trying to figure out what to do with her $1,000, said Massetti.
“One thousand dollars and one week; she’d better get to it,” Massetti said. “It’s a small amount of money and a small amount of time, but it’s really a gift to be able to do this,” Massetti said. “I’m just hoping other people will be inspired.”
Amber Mobley can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 269-5311.
[Last modified November 4, 2006, 12:00:06]
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