Voices of Childhood Cancer:  Power of Positive Thinking

Written by Rachel Wood, Director of Marketing

Listen to the voices of childhood cancer this month.  Every experience is different.  These stories of hope and healing start with your compassion and generosity.  Your donation helps us reach farther and move faster to develop improved treatments and promising cures for kids with rare cancers. Be childhood cancer aware.  Take action. [Presented by Atrium Health Levine Children’s]

  • Patient: Judd, 18 Years Old
  • Cancer:  Metastatic Ewing Sarcoma
  • Diagnosed: April 2021
  • Treated at: Atrium Health Levine Children’s

In the fall of 2020, it all started with hip pain and after a series of misdiagnoses for sports-related injuries, the unexpected was found… cancer. And it had metastasized.

Judd was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in April 2021, a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the soft tissues around the bones.  In Judd’s case, his cancer had already spread to several areas including his scapula, both lungs, lymph nodes in his chest, his pelvis, and sacrum/hip.

Except for losing his long beautiful locks, it would be hard to even know Judd has cancer.  Fortunately, he has experienced little to no side effects from the chemotherapy and Judd made the decision from the beginning to face his diagnosis with a glass-half-full mentality. He chooses to stay focused on being positive, not only for himself but for the family supporting him.

“The scans have improved tremendously!!! The doctors are really excited about the chemo response.  Judd had multiple places where the cancer was very active.  In his scapula the tumor was the size of a mango, his lungs had multiple tumors in both lungs with the biggest one being the size of a tennis ball, multiple lymph nodes in his chest / his pelvis, and last his sacrum/acetabulum (hip).   

As of the end of June, almost all the tumors in his lungs have dissolved the biggest one now is much smaller and way less active.  There is no sign of cancer in his lymph nodes.   His scapula has reduced in size and is now the size of a golf ball.  The hip and sacrum have reduced in size to at least half or a little more.” 

Judd attended prom and graduated from West Lincoln High School as a member of the Class of 2021.  He even continued to play baseball, but due to the chemo port that had to be installed in his chest, he couldn’t play his regular ‘catcher’ position.

With his positive outlook helping him every step of the way, Judd just started online classes to become a nurse with Lenoir-Rhyne University’s “RIBN” (Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses) Program!  All while completing cancer treatment.

“The support has been from one end of the county to the other, it’s really been amazing.  West Lincolnton High School family, our competing schools, and our community have shown up big time for Judd and our family. We are so thankful.”

Photos, videos, and quotes were provided by Haylee, Judd’s mom.

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Voices of Childhood Cancer:

9.1: Voices of Childhood Cancer: A September Series to Help Inspire Change

9.2: Voices of Childhood Cancer:  Putting Your Kid in Someone Else’s Hands (Maggie)

9.7:  Voices of Childhood Cancer:  Learning to Live in the Moment (Jennifer)