Dino Verrelli: I Miss & Love You Every Day, Dad

Dear Dad,


Losing you has been one of the hardest things in my life.  You were the person I looked up to so much.  Growing up I loved to watch you work at job sites or when you did things around the house.  At the same time I hated the fact that you were always working.  I didn’t understand why you always worked and I didn’t appreciate you until I became a father myself.  You and I had such a hard time showing our love and appreciation for each other.

John Verrelli pancreatic cancer
Project Purple Founder Dino Verrelli’s parents, Paula and Giovanni ‘John’ Verrelli

The worst of times was seeing you suffer because I was helpless and it tore me apart inside.  Nothing prepared me to deal with the suffering that comes with pancreatic cancer.  I remember our last meaningful talk, about life, my boys, and the promise I made to you.  I promised that I would help end pancreatic cancer so that no other families would go through that same hell.  That day was a turning point in my life.

Dino Verrelli Dad pancreatic cancer Project Purple
John Verrelli with Dino’s sons, Cole (left) and Luke (right)

It’s now been 6 years since the day I lost you.  Project Purple has become my life’s passion.  It’s been a difficult, painful journey.  It’s been a journey of knowledge, learning, happiness, pain and loss. I’ve met so many people suffering from pancreatic cancer and the loved ones who are suffering alongside them.  My work is nowhere near done.  I will continue to fight the battle against pancreatic cancer.


I miss you every day.  Cole and Luke miss you so much too.  Dad, your passing gave me the opportunity for Project Purple.  I hate this cancer but I am blessed to be where I am and in a place to help others.  I miss you every day along with Gary, Kelly, Elinor, Ken and Rick and all the others who’ve come into my life through Project Purple and left too soon from pancreatic cancer.  

Dino Verrelli Dad John Verrelli pancreatic cancer Project Purple
John Verrelli with Dino’s son, Cole Verrelli.


I will never give up, you already know that. Thanks Dad for giving me Project Purple …. miss you and always love you. 


Your son,



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