Young boy that beat cancer inspiring, raising money for others

DETROIT, Maine (WABI) — Every two minutes in the US, a child is diagnosed with cancer.

One in five with the disease will not survive.

For the other four, each set of conditions surrounding the treatment is unique.

To promote research and help fund the fight is the mission of a 9-year-old boy from Detroit, Maine.

TV5 has caught up with our old friend Kellan Tilton.

“I was born with a tumor on my spine,” Kellan said.

When he was two days old, Kellan was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. The next day he started chemo.

“He was lucky enough to go through and beat the cancer and after three months the tumor was removed, but the tumor had done its damage and he is paralyzed from the waist down,” his father Dan said.

“So that led to me being in a wheelchair, but I’m not going to let that stop me,” Kellan added.

The last time we spoke to Kellan, he was five, running from place to place, trying to catch every creature he could find in this backyard.

Four years later, not much has changed.

“I’m still catching grasshoppers,” he explained. “And snakes and frogs and now skiing on my own, learning to fly with fish, and I’m trying to raise money for St Baldrick’s.”

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to overcome childhood cancer.

“With COVID at St. Baldrick’s, like a lot of nonprofits, it’s been a tough road raising money, and you know, as Kellan said earlier, we’d encourage anyone who thinks it’s a good cause to donate,” Dan said.

“Because I know what other kids have been through, and I don’t want this to happen to every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer,” Kellan said.

The Kellan and St. Baldrick’s partnership is one that hopes to bring about change and inspire other children who must overcome obstacles in life.

“I think one of the things that Kellan represents is that every child has been diagnosed with cancer. They’re all different, they’re never the same,” Dan said. “There is no protocol. Every child has their own challenges, and that’s one of the great things about St. Baldrick’s, that they’re raising that money and donating that money to childhood cancer research that helps every child.”

“I just say, hey, so it’s okay to feel, it’s okay to be a little sad, but it doesn’t matter that you’re in a wheelchair,” Kellan explained. “You have the same blood, you have the same bones, you have everything the same as the other children.”

You can learn more about St. Baldrick’s here.

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