Honored Kid

John K.

Age 30
John  K. Kid Photo


Schaumburg, IL, US


Ewing sarcoma

Date of Diagnosis

May 2007


In remission

Treated At

Rush University Medical Center Comer Children's Hospital

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My Story

My life for the past 5 years has been intertwined with reoccurring cancer. In the summer prior to my freshman year at Schaumburg High School I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer. After being diagnosed, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery followed. Along with the physical pain accompanied by my cancer treatment, came the more emotional struggle of understanding who I was. My freshman year cancer took the sports I identified myself with, the energy to be with my friends, and the hair on my head. I was able to get through this challenging time but it fundamentally changed me forever. However, life went on and before I knew it I was 2 and half years into remission. In cases similar to mine the point at which a reoccurrence becomes unlikely happen is at the three year point. Two and a half years was when my lung scan came back inconclusive and further biopsy revealed my cancer was never completely gone. I feared that I wouldn’t have the strength to win this battle especially with the type of treatment my great doctors were prescribing. Treatment called for 5 months of chemo during which I would stay in school and after which I would have a stem cell transplant in the summer. The transplant required a month’s stay in the hospital followed by the rest of my summer indoors. With little to look forward to, my friends, our school social worker Mrs. Haas, and I decided to start a St. Baldricks event at SHS. As soon as everything was approved the event took off and before anyone could realize it the entire school had an energy that I don’t think anyone could explain. For the first time for me SHS felt like a real community of people who care about each other. A month later and the school raised over 50,000 dollars. The feeling of unity within SHS gave me the strength I don’t know if I would have had to go through with the stem cell transplant. I can never thank enough the people that helped organize and to all that donated any time or money to our St. Baldricks event. It saved my life. I have thankfully remained in remission for around two years and could not be happier with where my life has taken me. I am a student at the University of Illinois studying to possibly one day be a doctor (or something like that) so that I can give back to all that has been given to me. St. Baldricks is not only an amazing charity that raises tons of money for pediatric research but it makes kids who struggle with hair loss from chemotherapy feel more normal. You don’t have to shave your head to help just donating a few dollars goes farther than you may think.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

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