Friday, April 11, 2014

For 10 Year Old Graham Fowler, who is Battling Cancer, the Way to Survive Is by Helping Others...


The 10-year-old from Fridley, Minnesota, was diagnosed a year ago with Spitzoid Melanoma, a rare form of skin cancer, and has been through over 10 surgeries since, as chemotherapy does not provide a viable treatment.
Throughout his journey, Graham has been weaving loom bracelets and selling them on Facebook to raise money for cancer research, and his story has touched so many people, he's managed to raise $10,000 since October.
It's a project that not only passes the time, but serves as motivation for the fourth-grader to look beyond his own battle.
"Everybody had the bracelets at school, and so my mom got me a rainbow loom," Graham tells the Good News Blog. "We took a picture of the bracelet I made, and posted it to Facebook and people asked if they could buy it. So, we decided to donate it to cancer research."
Graham has been weaving ever since. So far, he's made 8,000 bracelets, and he's got 2,000 more orders to fulfill. Each sells for a dollar.
He adds, "I want to do this so that kids can get better."
For Graham, there is no finite timeline for when he will be "better." According to doctors, only six children in the world have Spitzoid Melanoma, and the treatment for it is not standard. Graham and his family travel to the Mayo Clinic every three months, where a team of doctors awaits for PET scans, oncology visits, and lab work. Each time doctors discover cancer cells, they be must immediately removed through surgery.
"It started out like a little blister, and then they took it off and tested it," Graham recalls. "Then they called my mom back in and they said your kid has cancer … it's scary because I have to go to a doctor and have a lot of surgeries."
Some days are better than others, and right now, Graham is cancer-free. The student at Westwood Intermediate School says he spends the car rides to and from doctor visits creating bracelets, and makes it to school about half the week.
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For support, he turns to his mother, Cheryl Fowler, and his friends.
"I could not have asked for a better patient, he never complains, he doesn't cry," Fowler observes. "Right now, there's no cancer in his body. We hope it doesn't come back, but odds are that it will. Right now we're just happy it's not."
The family is also thrilled with the huge response to Graham's bracelets. The young boy intends to keep weaving as requests come in, showing his support for kids who are going through the an illness like he is, in the biggest way possible.
Down the road, Graham says he intends to be a doctor.
"I want to be a plastic surgeon," he comments, noting the many operations he's undergone. "I want to be able to help people."