He's only 11 years old, but he has spent more time in the hospital than most will in a lifetime.
Skyler Fisher is battling a rare form of cancer called T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Doctors diagnosed him a few months ago and the reality is still sinking in.
"I just can't believe that I have cancer," said Skyler. "It's hard because if I'm laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep or taking a shower I'm thinking in my head, ‘I never really thought I'd get cancer.'"
The symptoms suddenly started last September. Skyler's mom, Evangeline, knew something wasn't right. After a series of tests, doctors confirmed her worst nightmare.
"He had a very bad chronic cough," said Evangeline Fisher. "Come to find out he had a pretty massive tumor in his chest. It was wrapped around his heart and causing pressure on his lungs and he wasn't able to breathe."
Doctors immediately started Skyler on chemotherapy and his cancer went into remission.
But the treatment took its toll. The medication robbed Skyler of his hair and most of his energy.
"He's gone through scans, X-rays and blood tests," said Evangeline. "It's a weekly visit to Doernbecher, if not twice a week."
Evangeline created a Facebook page where thousands of followers get daily updates on her son's progress. The page is full of messages of support from friends, family and even complete strangers.
Evangeline said she's not sharing her son's battle with cancer for sympathy. She wants to help others.
"I wanted other parents out there to not feel so alone enduring the same journey," she said.
But just when the Fisher family thought things couldn't get any worse, they did. Skyler's dad, Ken, lost his job at a local grocery store on Christmas Eve.
"I'm not too sure what exactly is going to happen to us," said Evangeline.
But Skyler isn't letting his family's hardships, or his cancer, ruin his spirit and love of music. Like any normal kid, he's looking forward to his 12th birthday party later this month.
"I'd really like to have a DJ system," he said.
Even though Skyler's cancer is in remission, his mom says it could come back at any time. He still has three more years of treatment for Leukemia which includes radiation therapy.
If you'd like to follow Skyler's journey, click here.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:56 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:56:12 GMT
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