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Valerie Harper's Husband Refuses To Put Her In Hospice Care, Vows To Care For Her To The End

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Who Is Tony Cacciotti? New Details On Valerie Harper's Husband And Why He Won't Put Her In Hospice Care

The life of a celebrity may be incredibly glamorous, but it can also be incredibly fleeting, too. How many charming faces have lit up your TV screen for a couple of seasons and then vanished not just from the boob tube but from your own memory? That's why it's so important for actors in Hollywood to make sure they have their own network of true support in case things ever take a darker turn. 

TV's Valerie Harper might not be on the small screen much these days, but the legendary actress made a serious impact. Now, as she goes through the literal fight of her life, she has the loyal support of her husband, Tony Cacciotti, and he swears he won't commit her to a hospice for end of life care, even though it's what all of her doctors are saying is the right thing to do. Who is Tony Cacciotti?

1. The News 

It's well known that legendary sitcom star Valerie Harper has been battling serious illnesses. However, for a while now no one has known how the actress is doing,or what her prognosis is for the future. Now, her husband Tony Cacciotti is speaking out on social media about his wife and her condition and what he's got to say is deeply sad, but also unbelievably touching. Tony, who is 78, was told by Valerie's doctors that it was time to put Harper, 79, into hospice care because of her ongoing battle against different forms of cancer. But Tony doesn't plan on following that advice. He and Valerie have been married for 32 years and he has no plans of abandoning his wife now, however challenging that might prove to be. 

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2. In His Own Words

“I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can’t [because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other] and I won’t because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she’s been here on earth,” he wrote in a post. Hospice care can be absolutely tremendous. I know that when both of my paternal grandparents were in the final chapter of their lives, it was an invaluable resource on so many levels for our family, and not just physically, but emotionally too. Still, if either one of my grandparents had been in a condition to care for each other, we would've much rather that they cared for each other the way Tony hopes to care for his beloved Valerie now. 

3. Helping Hands

But of course, taking care of someone, even someone you love, who is ill full time is a tremendous responsibility to undertake. Even if you know everything that you need to do to care for them you'll likely need to invest in expensive medical equipment, part-time aides, and chances are you won't be doing anything like getting a restful night's sleep anytime soon! To help and take some of this burden off of Tony, one of their friends started a GoFundMe page in the hopes of raising enough money to make things a little bit easier. But then, just as it hit the $66,100 mark, a sum that would transform Tony and Valerie's lives removing major stressors, they were hit with the news: The page was shut down!  

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4. One Good Turn

But the page wasn't shut down for any sort of malicious reason at all. In fact, it was the opposite of that. You see, when certain prominent members of the entertainment community heard about what was happening with Valerie and the touching decision that Tony was making to keep Valerie out of hospice for her final days and care for her himself, they stepped forward and worked together to cover all of Valerie and Tony's expenses. “She did so much for so many people and once they heard what was happening, they all started coming forward. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would happen like this. It’s really amazing," said Tony. 

5. Valerie 

Valerie Harper has played many roles over the years, but perhaps none were quite as memorable as her starring turn as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spinoff Rhoda. In 2013, Valerie was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, cancer of the fluid-filled sacks surrounding the brain. “I just didn’t want to put her into hospice care and now we’re going to be able to keep her here at home. She’s hanging in there. We have good days and we have tough days," shared Tony. Valerie, after all, has a warrior's spirit. She beat breast cancer in 2009 and when she diagnosed with her current illness she was told she had only three months to live, and that was six years ago! 

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6. Tony's Promise

Valerie's years later in life have not always been easy, but she has been lucky to have Tony by her side through it all. Though the future is scary and uncertain, he's right there lifting her up and seeing to it that her final years on the planet are filled with love, light, and laughter, and he's got a community of people helping him do just that. “We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible. There are two special ANGELS on this planet masquerading as humans who live and work together, that have made it possible to have all of Val’s needs taken care of," said Tony. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.