From Ewing’s sarcoma patient to medical student

I’ve always been good at math and science, so I’d given some thought to becoming a doctor, even as a teenager. Then cancer came along, and I got to see a lot of the inner workings of the medical field. I was hooked. Medicine seemed like a great avenue for my talents and passions. And I wanted to give back and be part of the community that saved my life. My Ewing’s sarcoma diagnosis I was 17 years old when I found out I had cancer. One day in May 2009, I woke up with shooting pains in my right arm. Since I was the pitcher on my high school baseball team, I got it checked out by a sports orthopedist. He assumed it was tendonitis and gave me some anti-inflammatory medication. The pain didn’t subside, so I got an X-ray. The doctor saw a shadow on my bone and ordered an MRI. We had an orthopedic surgeon look at those images, too. He ordered a biopsy. The results showed I had Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer. ‘Unparalleled’ experience at MD Anderson My treatment consisted of 14 rounds of chemotherapy, with surgery smack dab in the middle. I had my chemo infusions at a local children’s hospital, but when it came time to have surgery, I wanted a second opinion. I liked my surgeon, but I wasn’t really confident in his level of experience. So, I got some referrals and asked a lot of questions. Ultimately, I chose Valerae Lewis, M.D., at MD Anderson, because her experience is unparalleled. She’d done the operation I...