Saturday, September 15, 2012

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - Steven Bell

Steven Bell

Diagnosed at age: 9
Currently: a high school senior, age 18
Lives in: San Diego, CA

What was your diagnosis?

Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor or PNET (brain cancer)

What treatments or surgeries did you have?

In San Diego, I was performed on successfully to have my baseball sized tumor removed. As far as we know, all of the tumor was removed. But, to make sure, I was sent to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital where I was given 35 days of radiation, including concentrated radiation to the tumor bed, and radiation to whole brain and spine. I was given 30 days to go home, and then returned for four cycles of high dose chemo therapy.

What organizations are you involved with?

I am involved and have presented or assisted with fundraisers for Rady Children's San Diego, Make-A-Wish, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the Jordan and Kyra Memorial Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the American Cancer Society.

Who were the first survivors/thrivers you met?

The first survivors I met were at a group for teenagers with cancer, in treatment or surviving, and their siblings/friends. The group was at my local children's hospital.  It's called SOMBFAB, (Some of my best friends are bald) and I found out about it through the program coordinator at the time. The group is unofficially ages 13-35, however some kids as young as ten have been invited, and some of the people over 35 still come.

What is your personal theme song?

I would say my personal theme song would be Hakuna Matata. I get down and sad, even without surviving cancer. The reason I can keep a good mood usually is by telling myself "no worries."

How are you fighting back against tumors?

I fight back against tumors by being aware, and by sharing my story at events, with friends and family, and by attending and supporting fundraisers for several institutions dedicated to fighting tumors and other cancers.

Any advice for people at the beginning of their battle against tumors?

I would say stick through it. It's hard, and whether or not your journey is smooth as mine was fortunately, or rough, as many of my friends' journeys have been, you can do it, you can come out of it as yourself. Your tumor will never define you if you don't let it, and if you tell yourself you can do it, nothing, and I mean nothing, can stop you.

5 comments:

  1. I absolutely love what you wrote Catherine!!!:) It was all so so meaningful, touching and inspiring!!! Men sexual health It was so wonderful meeting you and I'm more than glad you had a great time at camp and that I could provide you with some meaningful information and I hope to help you more!!:)

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  4. Dear Steven,
    It is so wonderful to see you again! It's been 10 years since Matt and I initiated the fundraiser to your dream to visit the Polar Bear. We thought of you often and sent you prayers. You are a smart and handsome young man now and you just made my day reading your beautiful interview

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  5. I wanted to add, if you can give your mom a hug and let her know we have your video from the event back then, it's endearing. You were just so adorable, I would love to give you a copy. Please contact me at Beatricering@mac.com
    Much love to you and your family!
    Xoxo

    ReplyDelete

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