An Indiana teenager devastated over his cancer diagnosis took to the stage to dance for one last time before having his leg amputated. Scroll down for the heartbreaking video.
Two years ago, 18-year-old Austin Hewitt was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer that happened to be growing in his big toe.
Despite his undying love and commitment to dance, Austin had to get surgery to amputate the toe and underwent 26 rounds of chemotherapy to treat the tumor.
When doctors told him he was in remission in June 2017, Austin was ecstatic. Unfortunately, that happiness turned sour when another tumor was detected in his ankle a year later.
Austin has been a member of Eastern Howard School Corporation’s show choir since his freshman year, and he could not believe that he’d have to become an amputee.
A brave Austin had his surgery on October 31 at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The procedure involved removing his left leg below the knee to give him the best shot at beating this cancer.
ONE LAST TIME
Before that surgery, on September 26, Austin took to the dance stage or the last time. Performing with his show choir proved heartrending for Austin who revealed:
“It was bittersweet because I knew it would be a while until I was back on stage again. It was one last time before this huge change. Going on stage and waiting for the curtains to open was thrilling and I just focused on soaking everything in.”
Austin recalled feeling sad when the time came to present their final number. The unpleasant reality hit him, and he realized it would be a while before he could do what he loves again.
DETERMINED TO LIVE
Austin agreed he was worried about his performing career the first time he got a cancer diagnosis, but that did not stop him from putting in time in school and at practice.
“Even though I was sick, I didn’t want to stop and I only missed two performances the whole year. I was determined to keep dancing. I was determined not to let it affect my life.”
Sadly, five days before the celebration of his remission anniversary, Austin was diagnosed with cancer again, and this time, the prognosis was not good. “Basically my body seems to have the ingredients to keep producing this cancer. It’s scarier,” he explained.
Every option the doctors gave him involved amputation, but now, after the surgery, Austin is optimistic that he will be dancing again by January and will have his first fitting for prosthetics in two weeks.
“I am a positive person, and I’m very determined that this will be just a chapter of my life,” Austin concluded.
Keep hope alive, Austin!
WHEN CANCER SUCKS MORE
Cancer sucks, and it’s worse when people who are battling the disease do not get the love and support they desperately need.
In August, we heard the story of Kate Pepper, a 17-year-old high school student who received a brain cancer diagnosis for the second time.
Having her hair fall out again was tough for Kate, but she felt better after going wig shopping with her mom and finding a turquoise wig.
Unfortunately, Kate’s positivity took a hit when school authorities banned her from wearing the wig, claiming it was against the school’s dress code.
Her case went viral and was analyzed by several media outlets. Even the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, had something to say about it.
Read more on that story and watch Kate’s video here.
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