Eagles Fan Rob Dunphy Is Putting His Philly Tattoos to Good Use
The viral fan is raising money — so far, more than $7,000 in just four days — for a rare form of brain cancer ... and almost certainly getting a Gritty tattoo in the process.
The last several days have been quite a trip for Rob Dunphy. On Thursday morning, nobody knew who the 26-year-old Bridesburg dad was. But by Thursday night, anybody paying attention to the thrilling Eagles-Packers game in Green Bay knew Dunphy — or at least his bare, Philly-tattooed torso — after images of him from the game went viral.
So what happens next?
Well, in between shirtless photo ops with the Phillies Phanatic at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday and a bizarre interaction with Mike Jerrick on Fox 29 on Monday morning, Dunphy is trying to raise money for a rare form of pediatric cancer.
Dunphy and his friend set up a Facebook fundraiser on Friday with the goal of scoring at least $10,000 for Storm the Heavens, a registered charity in Pennsylvania that raises money for research into Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a particularly brutal form of childhood cancer.
“We didn’t even know Rob before he reached out to us the other day through mutual friends,” says Storm the Heavens founder Mina Carroll, whose daughter Philomena Stendaro died from DIPG in 2017 at the age of eight, less than a year after her diagnosis.
“This is the most uniformly fatal form of brain cancer, and it affects mostly children under the age of eleven. The five-year survival rate? Less than one percent. And yet nothing changes. Neil Armstrong’s daughter died of DIPG in 1962 and Philomena in 2017, and they were both basically offered the same treatment options.”
How rare is DIPG? It depends on who you ask.
“Well, people will say it’s very rare,” Carroll, a lifelong Port Richmond resident, told us. “But every year, close to 400 children are diagnosed in the United States alone. Is that rare? I don’t think that’s rare. I don’t think you can say one child per day is rare.”
On Sunday night, the fundraiser had surpassed $6,000, and by Monday afternoon, the tally was more than $7,000 and counting, with close to 300 donors.
If the fundraiser meets its goal of $10,000, which seems likely at this point, Dunphy’s tattoo artist, Mike Nemo at 215 Inkwell, has agreed to finish Dunphy’s chest tattoos, some of which are currently simple outlines. Bonus: The tattoo artist is giving him a Gritty tattoo.
“I’m just glad that we figured out a way to make something good come out of all this,” says Dunphy. “I don’t really care about that tattoos. Well, I do. But you know what I mean.”