11-year old Kyle is a huge dinosaur lover.
One of his favorite movies of all time is Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The movie was inspired by the dinosaur footprints found in Australia. Kyle always wanted to visit the very place where Spielberg got his inspiration for the movie, but travel became difficult for him.
In June of 2016, Kyle was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. His condition resulted in frequent hospital visits. Even though he had cancer, Kyle never let it get him down. He maintained a positive attitude through it all and encouraged other kids in the hospital to do the same.
“Whenever it was time to go to the hospital, he never complained,” said his mom. “He always would say, 'ok guys, lets go so I can get better' and walk in with a smile on his face.”
Throughout his two year journey, Kyle completed nine rounds of chemotherapy and had surgery to remove part of the tumor in his arm. He was then placed in a sling and had to complete 6 months of physical therapy. With odds against him, he never gave up. “When going through chemo, he would have a tablet in one hand and a puke bucket in the other!” laughed Mom, “Also he surprisingly enjoyed being bald. He would put tattoos on his head and ladies would give him kisses on his head. He’s such a lady’s man”.
His positive attitude got him through it all quicker than expected. Kyle finished physical therapy in 2 months, and in February 2017 was announced cancer free! When it was time for Kyle to choose his wish, the choice was easy – he wanted to go to Australia.
When Kyle and his family arrived in Australia, he was determined to do it all. They were given the VIP treatment for everything they wished to do. They explored the area and took a boat to see the Great Barrier Reef with a marine biologist and then later went to the outback and got the chance to hold a koala bear! Of course, the highlight of the trip was seeing the dinosaur footprints. Kyle and his family were able to go back to the lab and uncover and clean the bones they found. “We were the first people to see these bones uncovered, which was incredible and really amazing. If only you could have seen Kyle’s face - I’ve never seen him so happy,” said Kyle’s mom.
This trip was life changing for the whole family. It gave them a chance to get away from hospitals and worries. Since his trip, Kyle has bigger dreams than ever. “He hopes to one day be a biomedical engineer in Australia, so he can help other kids like him who have cancer and, on his days, off, go to the outback and look up bones,” said his mom. In the meantime, Kyle continues to inspire others by being an advocate for kids battling cancer. His experience encourages him to dream big and to help.