Dylan Widiker loves sports. The discipline, camaraderie and courage that go with team sports have carried him through a difficult fight with cancer. In the fall of 2007, Dylan was the running back for his junior high football team. During an early game, he was tackled and injured his right shoulder. The injury seemed serious, so he went to the doctor for X-rays. When his doctor saw a tumor on those films, he quickly referred Dylan to MD Anderson's Children's Cancer Hospital. Dylan had Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
Dylan had surgery to remove his right humerus bone and replace it with a cadaver bone. After the surgery, he was in a full body cast with his arm out at a right andle and was on chemotherapy -- but he kept going to school. In support of their teammater, the whole eighth grade football team shaved their heads! Dylan rarely missed school while on treatment. Since then, he has had surgery on both lungs for about 15 small tumors, because bone cancers often spread to the lungs.
Has this treatement slowed Dylan down or dimmed his love of sports? Not one pitch or touchdown! Football, baseball, track, basketball, even paintball are all favorites. He was released this spring to run sprints and relays and to compete in the triple jump and long lump on the Varsity track team. He practices all of the others with his left hand -- he's even pitching left handed! Now 16, Dylan is a junior at Magnolia West High School in Magnolia, Texas. Evidence of Dylan's popularity is the fundraiser staged by the high school baseball team and held in conjunction with MD Anderson in September, 2009. They raised over $6,000 because they were not playing for themselves -- they were playing for Dylan!
Published Winter 2010: MD Anderson Center: Children's Art Project