Ceremony celebrates young cancer survivor

(WISH Photo/Shawn Pierce)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The first day of September not only marked the beginning of a new month, it kicked off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

For one young patient it meant celebrating survival.

Doctors, nurses, staff and family members filled the hallway of Riley Hospital for Children’s cancer and blood diseases department on Thursday to cheer Sydney Reed’s remission.

The 14-year-old finished treatment for Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone and soft tissue cancer nine months after her diagnosis.

“At first, I just cried. I didn’t know what to do. But after that, I kind of just dealt with it,” Reed said of the news in November. “I don’t really have a ‘spunk,’ it’s more like I don’t put up with things anymore.”

According to Children’s Cancer Research Fund, 25,000 families around the world will learn of their child’s cancer diagnosis each month.

Reed suffered a spinal cord tumor that required several surgeries and proton radiation treatment to overcome.

Of Reed’s case, Dr. Chie-Schin Shih said “There was a significant amount of uncertainty with both the treatment and the prognosis.”

At their final appointment, Riley patients are treated to a special bell ringing ceremony. They ring a bell mounted on the wall three times after reading a poem proclamation out loud.

Reed and her mother, Deborah Corcoran chimed in with a message for other families facing a similar fight.

“Just keep fighting,” Corcoran said. “Stay strong. It’s a battle and you’ll get through it.”

Reed echoed her mother’s advice of steadfastness.

“Keep hanging on. That’s all you really can do,” she said.

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