By Sanford Children's Hospital

At just 10-years-old, Ben’s whole life changed. Not only was he diagnosed with cancer, he was diagnosed with a bone cancer that would take away his ability to take part in some of his favorite activities: football, basketball, and baseball. Ben endured 34 chemo treatments & surgery to remove the tumor, place a rod and reconstruct his knee before he was deemed cancer free in July of 2016.

Nearly a year before Ben was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, he started waking up with deep pain in his right knee. With his age and activity level, everyone thought it was growing pains and leg cramps, until September 2015 when his pain spiked so high his parents were called to pick him up from school and took him to their local doctor. Doctors determined Ben likely had a tumor; and then from there, they determined it was Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

For a 10 year old, Ben took the diagnosis very straightforward. He had just three questions for the oncologist: 1) Will I die? 2) Will you have to cut off my leg? and 3) When will it be over? He had an understanding of what ‘cancer’ meant, and he was able to be involved in the decisions about his treatment throughout his cancer journey.

From diagnosis to the final treatment, Ben and his family kept their story, struggles, and fears to themselves. Now that Ben has completed treatment, he hopes to one day be able to help other kids who went through what he did. He’s working on finding some new activities to fill his sports voids and is getting acclimated to life with a femur rod and replaced knee: a new normal.