Girl's battle with cancer hits home for WCCO anchor

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 5, 2011 - 4:15 PM

We don't often see the kind of emotion WCCO-TV anchor Frank Vascellaro displayed Wednesday while wrapping up reporter Lindsey Seavert's story about an 8-year-old girl fighting brain cancer. The anchorman almost lost it.

"That story would not have had the same impact on me 10 years ago. Now I've got kids. Gracie is 8. My daughter is 8," he told me Thursday.

Gracie Joles is the effervescent little spirit whose parents are Star Tribune photographers David Joles and Liz Flores. Using their cameras, they have chronicled their daughter's health problems.

"Of the 2,500 kids diagnosed with brain tumors across the country each year, fewer than 25 have the same kind. So, good luck, Gracie," said Vascellaro, clearly choking up as you can see at www.startribune.com/a232.

"There's something about sitting next to my wife that also has been very emotional for me," added Vascellaro, formerly of KARE 11, who joined his wife, Amelia Santaniello, at the WCCO anchor desk in 2006.

Vascellaro is a well-rounded soul who's also a softie. He famously went kicking and screaming into commitment. But once they married and had kids, he's taken to family life in a way that has amazed some.

DIY does Deephaven

Depending on what ends up on the cutting room floor, Blasted Art Inc.'s Kerry Dikken might be seen Monday on DIY Network's "Bath Crashers."

"I did some sandblasting on a glass shower surround and sandblasted some wine bottle pendant lights," Dikken said. "I'm not exactly sure how much they will show my work or me."

He did the work when the TV show took over the Deephaven home of Kevin and Brenda Shutes.

When Vikings tweet

The good news is that when Bryant McKinnie was dropping 100K on big bottles of champagne in Hollywood, according to TMZ, the unmarried party animal and offensive tackle for the Vikings apparently didn't wind up at Casa Charlie.

How do we know this?

Because on Tuesday, McKinnie wrote on his Twitter.com account: "I know I'm late, but what did Charlie Sheen do?"

Has McKinnie been under a rock at a nightclub? Somehow he apparently missed the loquacious, though possibly brilliant, Sheen engaging in a tragic and very public unraveling after years of frying his brain on drugs.

One of McKinnie's Twitter followers tackled Bryant's confusion with this message regarding Sheen: He got high and had sex [with] a lot of women, now he's losing his mind.

While McKinnie has never been suspended by the NFL for running afoul of its substance abuse policy, the single guy does love to nightclub and party. Wonder how he feels about Sheen's goddess-baby sitters lifestyle?

Hobnobbing with Adrian

In more wholesome Twitter-Vikings news, Adrian Peterson posted a photo Monday of himself with Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

Didn't say when or where it was taken, but here it is: say.ly/VSFabq.

Why do I doubt that Peterson uploaded this himself?

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of this attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings

  • DISHIN'

    A restaurateur's girlfriend's home was reportedly burglarized and he didn't run to the rescue when telephoned. His subtle way of indicating she's not his girlfriend anymore?

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