Dollhouse and Mayoral Proclamation Honor Sylvester Physician

Longtime South Floridian Pat Santangelo is accustomed to speaking in front of crowds, as spokesman for many years with the Florida Highway Patrol and now in Public Affairs for Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado. On Tuesday, May 21, he enlisted the help of his boss and used another method to say thank you to Pasquale Benedetto, M.D., the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center physician who helped him beat a rare cancer.

Santangelo and his wife Arlene presented “Dr. B.,” as they call him, with a custom-made dollhouse, complete with a replica of his office and photos of Benedetto, nurses and staff who were instrumental in Santangelo’s care. “We just want to say thank you to Dr. B. and Sylvester,” an emotional Arlene Santangelo said. “It means a great deal to us that he took care of Pat.”

Mayor Regalado also recognized the expertise of the cancer center during his proclamation, declaring Sylvester “a crown jewel” for everyone in South Florida. In thanking Benedetto, who is a professor of medicine, the Mayor said he saved countless lives and endeared himself to his patients and their loved ones. “Thank you for saving Pat because he is such a great asset to Miami.”

The dollhouse, which contains artwork specifically commissioned for the project, has been a labor of love for Arlene for more than 20 years, when Santangelo first became a patient of Benedetto’s. Diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, the spokesman underwent surgery and chemotherapy but is now cancer-free.

“I always had confidence,” said Santangelo, “because Dr. B. had confidence. I truly appreciate all this hospital has done for South Florida.”
The dollhouse will be placed on display in the lobby of University of Miami Hospital and Clinics.

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