Cristopher Rivera

Age: Pediatric
Association: Survivor
Region: California
Cancer: Osteosarcoma
Written by Cristopher Rivera

"I made the best out of my new leg situation and I was joyous for being given another chance at life. "

Since I was five years old I was a soccer player and my life revolved around soccer. My dream was to become a professional soccer player. I trained hard and became part of my school soccer team and a player in a high ranking club team. I would attend practices at school and  would go to my club team straight after that. On March 22, 2017 I was at soccer practice when my left femur snapped. I fell to the floor in utter agony. It was unimaginable pain. About a week later, after many tests, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer). I had chemotherapy for about two months and on June 20, a limb-salvage surgery was performed. The surgery proved successful. I continued chemotherapy but it was preventive chemotherapy. I was finally done with chemotherapy on November 4, 2017. After what seemed like an eternity, I re-learned to walk and returned to school as quickly as possible. My leg no longer had the functions such as running or speed walking. My left leg would not grow and my right leg would so there would be a leg-length discrepancy. I made the best out of my new leg situation and I was joyous for being given another chance at life. Several months later, from what started as little pain and a little bump on my left leg, turned into anxiousness when doctors decided to do more tests.  My family and I got the life shattering news on July 20, 2018: my cancer had come back and this time my leg could not be saved. I accepted the amputation because I did not want to die. I see it as a miracle from God because usually the cancer comes back to the lungs, not the same leg. The surgery date was pretty far since my surgeon was out of town. The tumor caused me so much pain to the point I felt I was losing my mind. Finally I went under surgery on August 16, 2018. My left leg was amputated above the knee . I was put on oral chemotherapy for an entire year. Thanks to God I am still alive.