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La Famiglia's Heart is Heavy Today

By Lou Bouris
August 24, 2014

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Richard - A true Steeler fanatic

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RIP our friend. You will be missed dearly.

I shed a tear this morning, and it’s pretty safe to say that I was not the only one in La Famiglia to feel this way.
One of the Family’s bravest little soldiers, Richard Culliver, passed away this morning after a courageous battle against cancer.
In October of 2012, I introduced Richard to the rest of the Mafia with this story:, and tried to convey the love he had for the Black and Gold.
Roughly two months before that story on his trip to see the Steelers play in Tennessee, Richard was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giliona (DIPG), brain cancer.
He had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the center of his brain, the doctors said it was inoperable, and at best he had 9-12 months left.
That is something no parents should ever have to hear, and a condition that no little child should ever have to go through.
But what started out as sad story of a dying 9 year old little boy, turned into a story of how that little boy showed everybody exactly what courage and bravery really are.
Following Richard’s journey on Facebook, through news articles and stories, you realize that although he knew what his fate was with this horrible disease, his faith never wavered, his spirits were always high, and his fun loving personality always shown through.
Richard stopped treatment and went home to be comfortable and wait for what the doctor’s said was ‘inevitable.’ However, Richard wasn’t ready to go just yet, and he continued to pray and be the same jokester of a little boy that he always was.
The months flew by, and miraculously the tumor shrunk to nothing more than a blip on the MRI.
Sadly, a new tumor popped up just a few short weeks ago, and finally ended Richard’s courageous battle.
The original prognosis was under a year to live, but Richard beat that and lived almost two full years after being diagnosed.
That is almost 24 months of playing games with his family.
That is almost 24 months of cracking jokes and playing tricks on his mom.
That is almost 24 months of showing the entire Famiglia and Steeler Nation what true courage and bravery really are.
He wasn’t supposed to even make it to Christmas that first year he was diagnosed, but apparently his job here on Earth wasn’t done yet. God had a reason for him to be here that long, and the number of hearts and souls he touched is a true indicator of that. A true indicator of just how a “sick little boy” can give grown adults a lesson on exactly what is important in life.
Richard, for that I thank you.
You will be missed by many, even those that may never have met you in person, but were touched by your heart.
La Famiglia and Steeler Nation are a little emptier now that you are gone.
But Heaven is a better place now that you are amongst the Angels.
RIP “Boss” Richard….you will be missed but never forgotten.

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