Inaugural Michelangelo Cup raises more than $382,000 for testicular cancer research

By Sheri Block

After being diagnosed with testicular cancer at 19 years old, Dominic Dell’Elce knew he wanted to do something to raise awareness about the disease and give back to the place that saved his life.

He organized the Michelangelo Cup, an invitational boys soccer tournament that welcomed around 150 participants and raised $382,100 for Princess Margaret Cancer Centre on Oct. 5th. 

The Dell’Elce family has been a long-time supporter of The Princess Margaret. Over the past 15 years they have raised more than $2.5 million through various fundraising initiatives including the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and the Michelangelo Gala. 

The Michelangelo Cup is the first time one of their events has been targeted at teenage boys and young men. 

“I wanted to spread the awareness at the youth level as opposed to in the past, my galas were more for the adult crowd. I wanted to relay the message to teenage boys and let them know it’s OK to speak about something they might not feel is right with the way they’re feeling,” says Dominic, now 43.

(Toronto F.C. star Jonathan Osorio pictured with Michelangelo Cup organizer Dominic Dell’Elce)

Toronto F.C. star Jonathan Osorio was approached by his friend Dominic to be the honorary chair of the event, which he gladly obliged.

“It’s for a great cause and it’s soccer, which I love so much. It was a no brainer for me to be a part of it,” says Osorio.

“Not only is it raising awareness on testicular cancer it also makes the kids feel like professionals.”

(Dr. Robert Hamilton (L), Jonathan Osorio and Dominic Dell'Elce hold up a giant cheque with the money raised for the Michelangelo Cup)

Dr. Robert Hamilton, a urologic oncologist and surgeon at The Princess Margaret who specializes in testicular cancer, says awareness of this type of cancer in young men is crucial. 

“The ability to detect cancer in its early stage translates immediately into better outcomes,” says Hamilton, who adds young men don’t always talk about symptoms they may be experiencing. 

“If you have any sensation or symptom or sign that is out of the ordinary go and see your family physician and get it checked out.”

Learn more about the Michelangelo Cup and how to donate here.