On Monday, Brooklyn DJ and producer Victor Calderone shared that he has been diagnosed with cancer. The disease is not life threatening, he says, because his dog, Tuco, detected it early.
In an Instagram post, Calderone explained that he initially did not want a pet dog. “I never imagined the immense love I would develop for Tuco and how he would change my world as I know it,” he wrote. “I was opposed to getting a dog for years while [his son] Jivan and [his wife] Athena campaigned hard to get one.”
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He continued: “Call it coincidence or divine intervention, but what I do know is this little guy came into my life for a reason. And although we rescued him, I believe he saved me.”
Calderone credits his “miracle pup” as the reason his cancer will be treated relatively easily. “No need for concern, I will be fine — it was caught early because of Tuco,” he wrote. “He triggered both the symptom and the awareness that I needed to go to the doctor which in turn sent me to the ER. In the words of the ER doctor ‘your dog saved your life.'”
According to the In Situ Foundation, which developed the first protocol for cancer-detecting dogs, cancer cells produce a distinct scent. In the late stages of the disease it can be picked up with a human’s olfactory sense – but dogs, whose sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000-100,000 times as strong as that of a human, can alert medical professionals to it ahead of time.
Victor Calderone, now 54, was introduced to Brooklyn nightlife in the early ’80s at only 15. His recording career started in 1997 with releases on labels like Empire State Records and Cyber Republic. His recent work has landed on the likes of Ultra Records, MOOD Records and Drumcode.
Calderone has not specified the type of cancer with which he was diagnosed at the time of writing.