Nearly one year ago, Kim and Jon Smith peddled from San Diego to Florida in memory of their daughter, Tyler, who passed from germ cell cancer at 15 years old. The couple experienced searing temperatures and soaking rain on their 3,069-mile, two-month-long fundraising journey dubbed Team Tyler Rides. But most of all, Kim and Jon encountered their daughter’s beautiful and generous spirit along the way.
Kim and Jon start their cross-country ride at the Pacific Ocean in San Diego.
When Jon and Kim needed a boost, there were the energy bars and electrolyte replacing beverages, but the real fuel couldn’t be torn from a wrapper or gulped from a bottle.
When the miles got tough, it was the dragonflies and the generosity of strangers that kept the couple pedaling.
This is part two of a two-part series where Ted Sibley, a 33-year-old childhood cancer survivor, tells his cancer story and how it has shaped who he is today. Read part one >
Ted holding his son Sam. Ted is now 20 years beyond his diagnosis of childhood cancer.
At 25, Ted is two years into medical school and happily married to his college sweetheart, Erin. After several unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, Ted goes to see a urologist, where he learns that the childhood cancer he thought he’d left in the past was still very much a part of his present.
This is part one of a two-part series where Ted Sibley, a 33-year-old childhood cancer survivor, tells his cancer story and how it has shaped who he is today.
Ted is now an emergency room physician, a profession he says he likely never would have chosen had he not been diagnosed with childhood cancer.
Before I was diagnosed with choriocarcinoma, a type of germ cell cancer, at age 13, the physician asked me a lot of strange questions: “Have you lost weight? Do you sweat a lot at night? Any strange aches or pains?”
After I told him about my stomachaches for the past year, he nodded his head and showed me the x-ray.
Megan Flynn with her infant son, Andrew. Photo by Simply Bliss Photography.
But that was how doctors discovered she had a rare genetic mutation that likely played a role in the development of her childhood cancer — and that led to her infant son’s rare lung cancer.
Megan’s childhood cancer
When Megan was diagnosed with a rare ovarian cancer called Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor in 1997, no one knew much about her type of cancer, let alone what caused it. After surgery and five years of follow-up scans to make sure the cancer hadn’t returned, Megan was sent on her way.
She graduated college, got married, and started having kids of her own, always wondering in the back of her mind what had caused her cancer and if it was something she should worry about with her own children. “I just never really had any answers,” she said.