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87-year-old judge beloved for his empathy says he has cancer. ‘Need all the prayers’

A retired judge in Rhode Island who has gone viral numerous times for his compassionate court rulings announced he has cancer.

Frank Caprio, 87, said that after his recent birthday, he wasn’t feeling well and decided to get medical exams done, according to a Dec. 6 TikTok video that amassed over 2.5 million views in six hours.

“One of the happiest days of the year, for me, is my birthday and recently I celebrated my 87th birthday and I received so many wonderful messages from people all over the world,” Caprio said in the video.

But this birthday turned out to be a little different than expected, Caprio said in the video captioned, “Your help will give me the strength to fight this health battle.”

“(I) received a medical examination and the report was not a good one,” he said. “And so I have been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, which is an insidious form of cancer.”

Caprio is being treated by doctors in Rhode Island and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, according to the video.

“I need all the prayers I can get,” the video read.

Caprio has served as the chief judge of the Municipal Court of Rhode Island and chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors and Education.

But, what caught the public’s attention was his empathetic rulings that were televised on the program “Caught in Providence.”

Caprio is known for listening to the people who enter his court room and taking their story into account when it comes to his ruling.

A widower was sent to Caprio’s courtroom on three red light violations, according to a post on Facebook by the show.

The man had gone through the red lights after receiving a call from the hospital that his wife was going to die, the video said.

Caprio decided to charge the man $100 but later explained he’d use funds meant to help anyone who is unable to pay a fine.

The fine was paid through a check the court received and the violation did not go on the widower’s record.

Caprio asks the people in his courtroom about their lives, their families and how they’re feeling.

“I don’t have the heart to charge you for this,” Caprio told a woman who acts as her mother’s caregiver in a video posted on Caught In Providence’s Facebook page. The woman was caught speeding while getting used to a rental vehicle that uses “sensitive” hand controls to brake or accelerate.

He went on to ask how the woman’s mother is doing and said he will be praying for her.

In January, Caprio announced his retirement after spending “nearly 40 years on the bench,” ABC 6 reported.

“I would ask each of you in your own way to please pray for me,” Caprio said in the TikTok.

Caprio said although he knows there is a “long road” ahead, he’s “fully prepared to fight.”

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