Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Fighting Irishman: 3 time teen cancer survivor Patrick McSweeney leans on brothers, hopes for better 2014



LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The start of the new year has many people setting new goals and resolutions, but for one Louisville teenager, 2014 is truly a new beginning.


After battling leukemia three times, Patrick McSweeney hopes his future is cancer-free.
"Sometimes they stick me right here, or right there, or right there," McSweeney said in 2006.
WLKY first introduced McSweeney nearly eight years ago. He was 6 years old and was battling cancer for the first time.
Fast forward to February 2013, three days after making a pivotal shot in his championship basketball game, McSweeney was diagnosed with cancer for a third time.
Now, with three battles behind him, the Fighting Irishman, as he's known, is looking for a healthy and cancer-free 2014.
"I hope it's better than 2013. I'm hoping I will go back to school this year, that as the year goes on, everything will get back to the way it was," said McSweeney.
The 14-year-old's cancer is now in remission, and little by little, the McSweeneys are hoping to get life back to normal.
"Right now, I am through the transplant and they're just waiting for my immune system to recover, then after that, everything's fine," said McSweeney.
McSweeney has a strong support system standing behind him, including two older brothers, one of whom was a perfect match for his bone marrow transplant in May.
"I'm just glad that either me or Alex, one of us was a perfect match so we could save his life because the chemo wasn't working." said Patrick's brother, Joey McSweeney.
"It's affected them as much as it's affected me because my brother Joey was the donor and my brother Alex just sort of had to sit and watch all this happen," said Patrick McSweeney.
While much of his childhood has been filled with fighting leukemia, McSweeney has kept a positive attitude and even experienced some perks along the way, including meeting two football players from his favorite team.
"Everyone looks to me as an inspiration and I feel like I should be that inspiration and not try to let them down," said Patrick McSweeney.
With a new year ahead, Patrick made just one resolution.
"You're just wanting to stay healthy?" WLKY's Christina Mora asked him.
"Right, that's the best resolution I can hope for," said Patrick McSweeney.
When his immune system is strong enough, Patrick hopes to head back to school at St. Xavier.