Hello everyone, My name is Adam and I am 18 years old and live in Michigan
When I was four years old I was diagnosed with leukemia. Four months after being diagnosed while being treated at a local hospital I suffered a life changing event. During my second treatment of chemotherapy I suffered an incredibly rare reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs. This left me paralyzed from the waist down. I am considered a T10 paraplegic.
Growing up as a cancer survivor and being in a wheelchair was very difficult. Not only was it hard for me but it was even harder on my parents. It all happened so fast. One day I was walking completely normal then the next day I could barely walk at all. My parents were overwhelmed.
Because my reaction incurred in the middle of the chemotherapy the doctors were forced to stop the chemotherapy hoping to slow the paralysis. This worried my parents because they were afraid the cancer would comeback hard. So basically either the cancer would come back and be even harder to get rid of than before or the paralysis would consume my body and all of my organs would shut down.
By a miracle the paralysis stopped and the doctors carefully resumed the cancer treatment process. Eventually the cancer was in remission but I was still paralyzed. At the initial onset of the paralysis I was paralyzed from my neck down. I could barely turn my head and was incapable of feeding myself.
Throughout the next few years thanks to intense rehabilitation I was able to gain much of my upper body strength back. My parents were hopeful that I would recover all of my lower body strength back too. Unfortunately this never happened.
Even though I live my life in a wheelchair I make sure to make the most out of it. I tend to be funny and compassionate. I love to make people laugh and have a good time. I will often times make fun of my self because I am in a wheelchair.
The love of my life is sports. I play wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, tennis, and handcycling. This summer I will be competing in my first ever triathlon. Handcycling is my favorite sport. To this day I have competed in 19 marathons, even winning three of them. Two years ago I won the Detroit Free Press Marathon. One day I hope to compete in the Paralympics on the United States Handcycling team.
Even though I may be confined to a wheelchair and be a cancer survivor I will let nothing stand in my way. I have a great opportunity to be something more than I ever could have been if I had not had cancer and been paralyzed.
You are an amazing survivor and such an inspiration!! Your parents are warriors along with you living through what you all have lived through! Their pride in you must be out of this world! Thank you for sharing your story!
I don't know where to start. You are simply phenomenal! I have to tell you that your post was the single most inspiring thing I have read in a very long time. As the mother of a young child who is a survivor working his way through the effects of both tumor location and chemotherapy, your thoughts hit me right at my core. I could have never imagined that as a physical therapist the most difficult challenge of my career would be to be at the center of my own child's rehab process. To hear about what you have accomplished and how you lead your life is so comforting and reassuring...and just beyond inspiring to me personally. Thank you for sharing your story. It was much appreciated.
Wow, this is so inspiring, Adam! You turned an awful experience into something pretty amazing =)
Your story truly is inspirational. I had a similar event happen to me, just not as severe. The doctors discovered flesh eating bacteria in my right leg as I was undergoing chemo. The minute they stopped chemo, my leg felt better. The doctors considered amputation so I could continue on with chemo, but luckily the doctors removed it all through surgery. I was finally able to walk again, however the radiation I had as a child has caused me to have a brain tumor, thyroid cancer, and most recently, breast cancer. The price we have to pay to cure ourselves from this awful disease...
I truly enjoyed reading your post. You are such an inspiration. Your story definitely shows others that they don't have to let their situation control them. They can take control of their situation. I think it is great that you have such a positive spirit and I want to congratulate you on all of your accomplishments. Thanks so much for sharing. I wish you the best in your future endeavors!