Saturday, July 10, 2010


Dean Vincent Campanella

Hi Everyone!
I have been home a few days and have things pretty much put away. I down loaded photos from my camera and found that every one of them are of my brother, Vince. I just want people to know how amazing he truly was. Vince was sick from birth. Diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 9. He went through a lot in those early days. Doctors had no idea how to regulate insulin, especially in children. Vince fought his way through all of that. He made sure he did everything he could to be healthy and doctors were amazed that at the age of 36 he still had all of his limbs and was doing well. That all change by age 38 when his kidneys started to fail. He was living in Fairbanks, AK. then, and in order to get a transplant team moved to Spokane, WA. However, a stroke and 5 byway heart surgery kicked him off the transplant list. Vince then moved him and his family to Sacramento, CA. where the transplant team accepted him. His first transplant was a kidney and a pancreas. The kidney failed after a year but the pancreas was good until the end. Vince had been on dialysis until he received the second kidney in 2006. Little did we know then that the kidney was cancerous. Vince lived his life as best he could and 5 years ago won custody of his son, Nicholas. Vince was a brilliant man, well educated and a whiz at the thing he loved. Sound, lighting and electrician for bands and TV stations. His last gig was with the band Journey. He was proud of all of his accomplishments especially the raising of Nicholas. As you know my brother started having some severe problems in April of this year. My mom and I have been going back and forth from Oregon to CA to care for him. On June 8th Mom and I drove down again to find Vince in the hospital undergoing surgery to remove the donor kidney. It was a week later that they told us the kidney was cancerous when it was transplanted. The cancer had metastasized to his nymphs and they gave us less than 6 months. For Vince it was less than two weeks. I can't tell you what he went through this last month. No human should ever have to go through the things he did. I will never regret being there and caring for my funny wonderful brother. Right to the end he was making us laugh. There are 6 of us. I am the oldest and Vince the youngest. As I did with my sister, Gayle, who passed away Dec 2009, Vince and I spoke on the phone almost everyday. I will never forget his laughter or goofy faces he made. I miss him. On the other side of this coin I know that he is with my sister, they are whole and happy and running though fields of wild flowers and they are together.
This is my dear brother.
Thanks for listening today.

Mom and Vince

Nicholas, me, and Vince

Nicholas, Vince, and Mom

Vince and my brother Tom

Cousins Richie, Shirley, and Vince

Great Aunt Sue, Cousin Tony and Vince


  1. Oh gosh, I am so sorry Nicole. My heart hurts for you. God bless his soul and God bless you for being there for him. What can I say except that he is with your sister as you say. My thoughts are in prayer for you Nicole.

  2. What an awesome tribute to him! And what a family you have! No more words right now.


  3. Hi Nicole

    Please tell us anything you want to talk about your brother. We'll all listen and share a quiet moment and say a prayer.

    Stay well.
    Regards, Carol

  4. I'm so sorry, I didn't realize you also lost your sister so recently. That is just too much but what do you do but carry on and remember their strength. That must be what helps support you now, remembering Vince's strength. You should watch this video, I think it is all about people like you:

    You take care, Nicole.

  5. Nicole, I can tell that your brother Vince was very loved and was a strong man for everything he endured in his life. It's so hard when they leave brother has been gone for 1 year now, and still everything is there...missing him and thinking back to all the good times. I don't know when the coping gets easier, it's different for everyone. But sharing and talking about it is a good thing, and I'm so happy you shared this.
    love & hugs ♥

  6. Thanks for sharing Vince's story with us! I say a prayer for him, knowing that he is safe and happy right now. And I say a prayer for you and your family to give you strength.


  7. Thank you so much for letting us get to know Vince better. This is so nice of you and I'm sure he is enjoying his celebrity status. The circumstances Vince had to endure throughout his whole life is beyond unfair. What an inspiration Vince is to all of us.

    Hold those good memories tight.

  8. Nicole, what a beautiful tribute to your dear brother. What an incredible person he was. His strength, spirit and humor will live on, in you and everyone who loved him, and I know that the world is a better place because of his time here.

    You're very loved, sweet lady. ♥

  9. I am so sorry! I understand your feelings...Be strong!

  10. Such a beautiful tribute to your brother. Again, I am so very sorry for your loss. Theresa

  11. Hugs to you and prayers for your heart. I'm glad Vince was surrounded by family so closely. What a strong man he was to live so bravely through what he endured.


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