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Carmelo's Story

Carmelo Scarlato was born July 24th, 1953 in Calabria, Italy. He spent his days working on his father's farm and delivering milk. At 17 he immigrated to America for more opportunities, and earned his citizenship some years later. Then, he met our mother, Suzanne, and they were married in 1984.


Over the years he accomplished many more things, such as: owning and operating his own bar, a pizzeria, and a construction company successfully. He was a lover of good wine, good food and good friends. A master at the guitar and a truly compassionate soul. His words of wisdom never ceased and his joy for life was contagious. His remarkable wit and optimism shined every day.

He donated regularly to St. Jude Children's Hospital, a charity he held near to his heart.


He passed away in September 2021 from a rare form of cancer called Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). He is survived by his wife, Suzanne, and his kids: myself, my brothers Carmen and Antonio, and our sister Nichole.

The Origin of GIST

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors or (GIST) was first discovered in 1983 by Michael T. Mazur, M.D. and H. Brent Clark, M.D.


In 1998 it was discovered by S. Hirota, M.D. that the tumors develop from a mutation in the c-KIT gene. It is very deceptive and often misdiagnosed, but is survivable if caught in time. Less than 1% of people in America are diagnosed with GIST.

It presents itself typically in men and women in the 50 - 70 age range.

Click here for more information from the Mayo Clinic:

Just 13 people get diagnosed every day. 

Currently, research into GIST is underfunded and education on the disease is limited. That is why we need to spread awareness.


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