Tony Guarino has been living with terminal prostate cancer for four years. And these days, his health has deteriorated to the point where doctors say he can no longer enjoy his lifelong passion for bowling.
"My lower back is all cancer cells all the way into my pelvis," Guarino told CBS Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA-TV. "If I twist wrong or I step wrong I fracture my back, I'm done."
But Guarino and his wife, Stacy, have a plan that will allow him to stay close to his chosen sport after he's gone: by building a bowling ball urn.
"A bowling ball urn. I've bowled for how many years. Why not be buried in a bowling ball for the rest of my life?" Guarino says he asked his wife.
Mike Seargent of Storm bowling said his company had never received a similar request but was honored to obliged. Stacy Guarino says she was home along when the specialized urn arrived in the mail.
"And I looked at it and I started to cry because I thought I knew what was coming but it still it's like something so final and it's kind of scary," she said.
Guarino says his friends thought the bowling ball urn idea was a joke at first. But once they realized he was serious, some actually offered to take him for a trip down to the lanes.
"No, absolutely not," Stacy said, saying instead that Tony's ashes and the urn will be placed inside his ball bag along with his favorite bowling ball and one used by his father.
"And he'll go in the third slot on top so he's No. 1," Stacy said.