A cross country and track runner, Scott Capozza ’98, MS ’99, considered himself in the best shape of his life when he started his final year of IC’s physical therapy program. Over Labor Day weekend, he went cliff diving with friends. The next day, he noticed some unusual swelling but pushed his concerns aside. A couple of months later, the Friday before finals, his symptoms prompted a visit to the campus health center. They sent him to the hospital for tests, and that night Scott learned he had stage 2 cancer.
Scott’s first thought? Finals. “I can’t deal with this right now. Can we deal with this over winter break?” The doctor’s answer was a decisive no.
Scott’s cycle of surgery, hospitalizations, chemotherapy, and periodic recovery began. When his second surgery turned into a much longer hospital stay, he called the dean to explain. .
“Stop apologizing,” the dean told him. “We’ll figure it out.”
“There was never a time that I wanted to be in class more than when I was in a hospital bed with tubes [coming] in and out of me,” Scott recalled.
After missing half a semester, catching up was a feat. “I was literally taking a test or doing a lab every week,” Scott said. But, with the help of IC faculty and other PT students, he was able to go through the graduation ceremony with the rest of his class, completing his final clinical rotation later that fall.