Monday, March 15, 2010

Andres' Story

Age 12
Bone Cancer

St. Luke's Regional Medical Center

One day after soccer practice Andres knew something was wrong with his knee. A trip to the doctor revealed more than a sports injury. He had osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer.

For even the strongest of adults, a cancer diagnosis is difficult to accept. But Andres, then 8, faced it head-on. He went into surgery with a strong will while doctors removed a tumor and replaced his kneecap with a bionicle joint. Andres underwent chemotherapy and treatment for various infections that could have all endangered his life. It seemed Andres had beaten cancer—until a follow-up scan one year later showed he had relapsed.

When many people would become depressed or angry when faced with a relapse, Andres pushed forward with the same positivity he demonstrated during his first battle with the disease. Staff at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center marveled at his bubbling personality and watched Andres inspire others, twisting balloon animals at fundraising events and sharing his story at the local Radiothon.

Now 12, Andres has finished treatment and looks forward to being in remission. But whatever happens, his loved ones know he'll continue to demonstrate the same optimism that has won the hearts of so many.

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