CHICAGO — It’s the perfect example of making the best of a bad situation by using a passion for good.
This came at what could have been the worst of times for Chicago’s Anthony Corrado, when surgery to repair a hernia turned into something he couldn’t have imagined.
“When he told me, my heart dropped,” said Corrado when he was told that his pain was caused by Lymphoma. “My jaw dropped, and I was scared and afraid and I felt very alone and vulnerable.”
Yet that didn’t last, since he’d seen his father, both grandmothers, and a few aunts fight cancer in his lifetime.
“So I knew if they could do it, I could do it,” said Corrado. “By the third day, it had turned from sadness and annoyed and angry to let’s go, I’m ready to rock, let’s take this on, let’s have fun with it as well.”
As an influencer with a knack for creative and comedic videos, he had his way to do that. Corrado picked TikTok as his vehicle to make that happen and has periodically put up videos of his cancer journey on his social media platform.
“You never know whose eyes you’re going to end up in front of. I love that there is no method to the madness and you could find yourself in front of,” said Corrado of TikTok. “Someone who might really be in need of seeing content like the content that I’m doing. I love that’s a possibility, and we’ve proven that to be true.”
Already Corrado has over 463,000 followers, gaining more as he continues to post the different steps of his cancer treatment. Each video on the platform is a moment to teach about the steps of battling Lymphoma while providing a little entertainment at the same time.
Creating these videos is a passion for Corado, who started posting videos to YouTube in sixth and seventh grade before successfully moving his creations to TikTok.
“I love making people laugh, and ‘I love making people smile. That’s why I got into the industry in the first place, the entertainment industry, is because I’m addicted to that, sometimes a little of an unhealthy addiction. I’m a little too addicted sometimes,” said Corrado. “However, I find a huge thrill in making people laugh, and when you make people laugh and also tie in something like cancer that affects so many people around us.
“I’m just trying to give hope to someone else in my position or position similar and show them that it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. You can actually become a lot better of a person going through something like this than you could have without it.”
Corrado has been able to build up enough attention to hold an event to raise money to help battle the disease, holding a fundraising walk for the Lymphoma Research Foundation in July.
“If you look at the changes from the last 30 years until now, that’s why I wanted to get involved in LRF, because the research is changing the game,” said Corrado.”My dad, 30 years ago, when he had Lymphoma, he had to do 12 surgeries and had to do tons of chemo and radiation compared to 30 years later, my treatment for Lymphoma is much different.”
Right now that includes no surgeries or radiation, with Corrado already finishing three of his six chemotherapy treatments with hope he’s done by October 5. Until then, he’ll keep battling the disease and have the cameras rolling.
“A smile is the most important thing to me above all. I hope they can smile, even if it is for a few seconds,” said Corrado.
Anthony Corrado is on TikTok as @toekneecorrado
Larry Hawley featured Corrado and his TikTok videos as he continues to battle Lymphoma on WGN NewsNow, which you can watch in the video above.