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St. Marys teen who survived cancer recognized for giving back to others
LONDON, Ont. -- A 13-year-old boy from St. Marys who survived Stage 4 liver cancer is giving back to others who may be facing similar challenges.
Brock Chessell was ten years old when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer.
“I had 16 rounds of chemotherapy, CTs, MRIs, bloodwork and lots of tests,” he says.
The diagnosis meant that for the next several years Brock would be battling this aggressive cancer.
“I didn’t want to be in the hospital. I just wanted to go back home and play hockey and baseball and be with my friends.”
His mother Julie Chessell says it was a challenging time for him.
"You know he was a 10-year-old. 11-year-old boy, by this point that was just frightened and devastated that his life stopped."
When the treatments didn’t show enough improvements his mom says the family tried not to fear the worst.
“My biggest fear was losing him - that I wouldn’t be able to see him grow up, get married or graduate high school.”
But Brock got a second change at life when doctors decided his best chances would be to get a liver transplant.
“We were so grateful because we didn’t know how long it would take and if the chemo wasn’t working and this didn’t work we needed more chemo and we didn’t know what we were going to do," Julie says.
But not only did Brock beat the odds, ten weeks after his transplant he was back to playing hockey, and has been raising money and awareness for Sick Kids Hospital and other organizations.
His work got him recognized by Air Canada’s Fan Flight program which awarded him an unforgettable visit with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he met one of his favourite players, Mitch Marner.
“It was awesome to meet Mitch and he handed me a stick and I got to thank him and it was awesome to meet Babcock, go to his office it was really an amazing day.”
Brock is hoping his story and advocacy work will help others kids and families in similar situations.
“I hope to keep inspiring people and I hope everyone can have a positive mind if they are going through what I went through.”