In November 2017, I began to have pains in my upper leg. I was active in sports, so we figured I had pulled a muscle. The pain got so severe it would wake me up in the night. We decided to see a doctor. After an Xray, MRI, and biopsy, I was told I had osteosarcoma. I felt a wall of shock, confusion, and fear. I knew a few people who had had cancer, but I never could have imagined I would be put in that position.
Enduring side effects of chemo, fevers, and feeling terrible, all I could do was keep my family and loved ones close, trusting my doctors and nurses would be able to get me through this. When it was time to surgically remove the tumor, I was fortunate to receive limb-salvage surgery, where my upper femur was replaced with titanium.
I had a lot of time to think about who I was and what I value in life. After spending so much time in the hospital, you being to appreciate being able to go to the park or sleep in your own bed. Throughout my experience, my family and I have tried to focus on the positives and while it was difficult, the further I am out of treatment the more I see the good things to come out of this. I’m able to still do things like swim, play basketball with my friends in the driveway, ride a bike, and I’m on my high school golf team which is something I otherwise might have not participated in. I have also been able to help others affected by osteosarcoma by raising money for my MIB Agents Research Fund. I have also been able to be a Junior Board Member and a member of the advisory panel to help select the recipient of the $100,000 research grant. New doors continue to open for me as a result of my experience and connections within the osteosarcoma community and MIB Agents. I am where I am today because of my incredible support system, my faith, my medical team, and organizations like MIB that understand what I have gone through and helped me come out of my diagnosis a stronger person.
Andrew is a MIB Ambassador Agent, Junior Board Member and as a Family Fund Holder, actively helps select the finalists for Osteosarcoma Research.