To know Dov and his family (wife Tara, and children Matan and Siena) is to love them. Dov grew up in Oregon, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Italy, and Israel. He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, is a published author, has a bachelor's degree in English, and works as a laboratory supervisor.
Even when Dov Siporin is “off duty” (meaning he is not receiving chemotherapy), he drops by the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) Infusion Center to visit patients, bringing candy (“It tastes better than chemo!”) taking special care to chat with patients who are sometimes uncertain or fearful. For Valentine’s Day, he even dressed as cupid—diaper, wings, and all. “The energy in the room changes when Dov is here,” says Shelley Shallbetter, manager of multidisciplinary support at HCI. “Everyone just lights up when he comes around.”
Since his diagnosis of stage IV colorectal cancer in January 2008, Dov has become known for his impromptu stand-up comedy routine, playful pranks with staff, and founding Team Tumor, a group of cancer survivors who participate in events that raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
“I started Team Tumor to get others in treatment up and running,” Dov said. “But it’s helped me stay focused on what we can do and not what we can’t.” Dov has completed multiple races, including the Wasatch Back, Top of Utah, and various 5Ks with and without his chemotherapy IV pole.
In the face of adversity with a cancer diagnosis that seems insurmountable, Dov continues to fight. He has completed 3,000 hours of chemo, three months of radiation, and about 25 hours of surgery. Every step of the way, he has made those who meet him feel comfortable enough to laugh in the face of what has been called a terminal cancer. He reminds us that life is urgent—and never, ever boring.
Learn more about colorectal cancer in our cancer types and topics, or visit the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program webpages.
Read an article about Dov written by his mother in Utah Cancer Connections 10/2011
KSL News featured Dov in this Healing with Humor segment 11/2012
In this video series, Dov introduces himself and tells how he has dealt with cancer. (Caution: Contains strong language and material)