Ryan Caron is a 16-year-old dealing with a rare form of juvenile bone cancer. Since May 2001, Ryan has undergone four lung surgeries, 18 chemotherapy treatments, and had his leg amputated. Despite all the setbacks and the reoccurrence of cancer, Ryan continues to stay optimistic through his faith and the dream of a cancer-free future. "I do think of being cancer-free whenever I get older and going into college and going into the workforce after college. I'd like to think I wouldn't be dealing with this all throughout my college years," Ryan said.
His family and friends are constantly by his side and praying for recovery. Friends of the family say they are amazed at the strength shown by Ryan's mother, Rachael Caron. "I think the ongoing thing when you have a sick child is to always have hope, always have something that you can hold on that will pick you up the next day or wake you up the next morning," Caron said.
In another home in Austin, 6-year-old Spencer Sartin is fighting a different form of cancer. In October 2004, he was diagnosed with Leukemia. His family was shocked because Spencer appeared healthy.
Rob Sartin, Spencer's father said, "There's a lot of good, there's a lot of bad. It is a life-changing experience."
Spencer's doctors say that his future looks bright. He only has about a year and a half left of chemotherapy, but Sartin has one concern. "Always one of the things that looms over my head is a long term affect that some of the chemotherapy has...like learning disabilities," Sartin said.
Ryan and Spencer are just two of the many children fighting cancer. Each year over 12 thousand Americans under the age of 20 are diagnosed with some form of cancer. It is the most common disease related death among this age group.
Produced by Domenique Bellavia.
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