Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sinjin Andrukates - Survivor!

I have a new idea to raise money for childhood cancer...pass a federal law of a $1 fine to anyone asking how to spell Sinjin's name. A $2 fine to anyone asking to pronounce it. All fines would go to childhood cancer research. We would have millions!

That may or may not work. But I will tell you something that does work. Fighting to win!

Sinjin was diagnosed with Burkitt's last year. He beat the cancer, but quickly relapsed. So Sinjin did what Sinjin does best. He beat it again. But it came back again. Finally the doctors gave up. They decided to throw in the towel. They spoke of "comfort care" and "palliative care". Innocent sounding words, that are like a kiss from Judas. How do you tell a 14 year old boy to die in comfort?

I will never forget the call from Sinjin's mom. She said she did not know what to do. But she was wrong. She knew exactly what to do. She told me all the "facing reality" statements from the doctors. But after every medical "fact", she repeated that she could not tell her son it was over. She knew exactly what to do. Fight for her son. Never quit. Never, never, never quit. I will never forget Sinjin's words, "I am 14 years old, and have never kissed a girl. I will not go home to die!"

So he refused to die. He looked the doctors directly into the eyes and said, "Change the word Impossible to I'm possible".

The doctors gave him 2-3 months. That was 6 1/2 months ago. Early this week he showed clear scans. TOTAL REMISSION! The same doctors are now "90% confident" the cancer is gone for good!

We were introduced to Sinjin through Brett Workman. The first communication I got from Sinjin was around last Christmas when he, Brett, and Tyler were all fighting Burkitt's together. Sinjin sent these words to Tyler, along with the following video.

Maybe tonight, or maybe tomorrow,
I'll win this fight, so bury your sorrow.
I'm still alive, still holding on.
Refusing to die, so I'll live strong.

As you watch the video, remember a couple of our friends.

Stef has been a fantastic friend to Tyler. He stopped by regularly to encourage Tyler. Stef has attacked his own cancer very aggressively, hitting it with some devastating blows. But the cancer has hit back just as hard. Now there is a not so little issue of a hole in his abdomen from surgery, and chemo can not resume until that is healed. Please pray for quick healing so Stef can get back in the fight.

Ryan is back at Children's. He is fighting hard to get the cancer into remission. And those who know Ryan will appreciate this...he rearranged his chemo schedule so he could get to the Blue jackets game last week. And he got to meet with Wayne Gretzky! Now how cool it that?

Sinjin: The Unbeatable

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