According to the American Cancer Society, over 10 thousand children in the U.S will be diagnosed with cancer this year. It’s a battle that no parent ever wants their child to face. But an 11-year-old from Caribou has fought the fight, and conquered it. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos has his story…
Eleven year old Zach Gagnon is all smiles. He’s got a new puppy, and a new lease on life. Last August he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma and as we approach this August; he is cancer free.
Zachary Gagnon said, “Feels really good. It’s good that the cancer is gone now and it was a long road going through it.”
Zach’s Mother Peggy Gagnon said, “Being a mother, any parent, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare to go through something like this and I thank god everyday that Zach had a successful turnout.”
It all started with pains Zach felt in his right shoulder. Doctors first thought it was a growth spurt, but his mother wasn’t convinced.
“I had him stand before the mirror, I had him take his shirt off, and I noticed his scapula on the right side was sitting lower, and I had him lift his arms in the air, where I noticed a tennis sized ball growth underneath his right arm,” said Peggy.
Zach withstood 6 weeks of radiation, 6 hours of surgery, and 10 months of chemo treatments. He had to miss his whole 5th grade year to fight his battle with cancer.
“When I was in the hospital for 6 days it kind of felt like I was stuck I would always stay in the hospital bed, because I felt so tired,” said Zach.
These days though, Zach’s energy is back and he’s doing things again that he used to enjoy.
“He’s my hero, he’s my son and he’s my hero, he taught me so much through this ordeal. This child, any child is a hero if they have to go through that in this lifetime,” said Peggy.
Zach’s mom says community support has helped them both pull through and to pay it forward, she’d like to organize a foundation on Zach’s behalf to help other families that share the same struggles.
A celebration party will be held this Thursday night for Zach from 6 to 9 pm at the Teague Park School in Caribou, and other children that have battled cancer will also be attending as well.