Orthopaedic Surgeon’s Dedication Takes him ‘Above and Beyond’
Matthew DiCaprio, MD, has a passion for caring for his patients that extends beyond his office and the operating room. He has become a familiar participant in local and national fundraisers, including those that benefit the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.
|Matthew DiCaprio, MD, supports Albany Med financially because "supporting the system you are in helps support the community that you serve."|
Since joining Albany Med in 2012 as the director of Orthopaedic Oncology, he has generously provided financial support to the Orthopaedic Equipment and Education Fund at the Partners in Leadership level.
“I support Albany Med because I want to give back to the local community and our patients. Ultimately, supporting the system you are in helps support the community that you serve,” he said. Dr. DiCaprio gives back through payroll deduction, which is available to all Albany Med employees.
While financial support has always been a given for Dr. DiCaprio, his involvement with community fundraisers was inspired by one of his young sarcoma cancer patients, Ben Stowell of Latham.
“Back in 2006, Ben introduced me to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which holds ‘St. Baldrick’s Day’ fundraisers in which participants publicly shave their heads to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Ben told me his friends had raised money
and were having their heads shaved at a local event and that he would no longer be ‘the only bald kid in school,’” recalled Dr. DiCaprio, who attended the fundraiser with
Ben’s family and his own family. It became an annual event for the two families, even
as it sadly turned from a means to support Ben to a way to memorialize him after he lost his battle with osteosarcoma in 2009 at the age of nine.
“Shaving my head with my daughters and supporting those families affected by childhood cancer has turned the event into one of my favorite days of the year. It is a day filled with emotions that inspire,” said Dr. DiCaprio. In 2013, he dedicated a brick in honor of Ben at the new Patient Pavilion.
Dr. DiCaprio, an area native who completed a residency at Yale, is the only surgeon specializing in orthopedic oncology between Boston and New York City. He is particularly passionate about supporting research for sarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissue that is rare, affecting about 12,000 Americans annually.
As the father of one of his patients said recently, “He always goes above and beyond to help families out. He is very dedicated."