By Shawn Gunarich
In the case of Red Lion sophomore Trevor Vitz, his wish would come true. But, it came with a price.
In Trevor’s eighth grade year during a routine dental checkup, a large mass was found in his cheek. The doctors were deciding between a swollen salivary gland or cancer as the diagnosis.
A parent’s nightmare was about to come true as the results came back as cancer, and for the next year-and-a-half Trevor would fight for his life as he would undergo a major removal surgery on his face and a skin graft on his wrist and thigh. Next came 35 rounds of radiation therapy.
Trevor would never be the same; the skin on his wrist and thigh would always be scarred and Trevor has an increased risk of a thyroid condition.
“I was never afraid of dying. It never crossed my mind,” Trevor said in a recent interview. “[It] happens to people everyday.”
As for Trevor’s parents, Teresa and Barry Vitz, Trevor’s cancer would not be so easy to cast aside. During Trevor’s major removal surgery, his parents waited and waited until they lost track of time.
When the doctors brought Trevor out from the operation, Teresa said “It was not my son. He looked like he was in a car accident”. She went on to describe how Trevor’s face was badly bruised, a large hole and drain rod in his cheek along with large bandage on his arm and thigh.
A month went by until Trevor would undergo his radiation, and just as Trevor was starting to get back on his feet, he was bounced back down.
“Trevor could not eat due to swelling and weakness” said Barry. “He was not himself”
After all of pain and hardship subsided, Trevor would finally get to have some fun.
“It was all worth it,” said Trevor when he told Leonid reporters about his journey to Atlanta. Trevor got the opportunity to meet his favorite NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons.
Trevor would spend two days in Atlanta watching the Falcons in a pre-season game, and even though the Falcons lost Trevor said, “It was awesome.” Trevor also met the quarterback Matt Ryan.
During a recent interview Trevor said that his favorite player to meet was Matt Bosher the punter. “ He took the time to talk to me the most,” said Trevor. “He connected with me more than you would have expected.”
Trevor underwent many obstacles with his cancer, radiation and a major surgery this will stick with him for the rest of his life.
But he did not give up. Even after this life-threatening illness he stuck with it and considers himself cancer free.
Trevor still continues to run three miles every day for cross country and is now fully recovered from his cancer. He is a living testament of a cancer survivor.
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