Fighting Bone Cancer, Donating Life

By: Erin Myers Email
By: Erin Myers Email

It's a parent's worst nightmare. Hearing a doctor say that your active nine-year-old boy could lose his arm... or possibly his life.

"The pediatrician explained to us that osteosarcoma is actually bone cancer and I guess that was the biggest shock because we weren't ready to hear about a nine-year-old having cancer," said Craig Caspersen.

Prior to the diagnosis, the Caspersen's had noticed a lump on their son Chase's right forearm. After about a month, Michelle says her 'mom gong' went off and knew she had to get Chase's arm checked. Following the diagnosis, Craig and Michelle loaded Chase into the truck and headed for Omaha with just the clothes on their backs. Michelle says the doctors told them to prepare for a long year.

"We spent Wednesday through Sunday at the Children's Hospital with him receiving one to two different 'chemos' which were administered very quickly and we would basically get less than 48 hours at home," said Michelle.

Then came time for the surgery. Doctors said there was one cure... removing the bone and tumor.

"We sat down with the surgeon, and he ultimately told us the best thing that we could do for Chase at the time was to amputate his arm," said Craig.

After hours of agonizing surgery, Michelle and Craig got the best news. Chase's arm was saved thanks to a bone transplant, leaving a scar that some may try to hide but Chase shows off proudly. Now eleven, Chase is more active than ever and an inspiration. Chase is one of the youngest persons ever to ride on the Rose Parade Donate Life Float this January. He says his greatest gifts are life and his arm.

"I've learned to respect what I have and don't ask for anything just because you want it," said Chase.

Michelle and Craig say their greatest gift is Chase.

"We came home on New Year's Eve two years ago, so we will be ringing in the New Year but we will be ringing in another year for the Caspersen family. New Year's has really changed for us because New Year's now is a celebration about Chase," said the Caspersen's.


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