John Ford // high school freshman // reader, video gamer, lover of classic movies // survivor of leukemia (diagnosed 4 y/o; cleared 9 y/o) // son of CSP volunteer Lloyd Ford

“It was hard being a child with cancer. I wasn’t able to do a lot of things other kids could do. Despite this, the staff at the hospital would play games with me. I used to run around the hospital with my cowboy boots on, putting the nurses and doctors ‘under arrest.’ This caused me to have a lot of embarrassing photos down the road!

“I received two & a half years of chemo therapy, & two & a half of occupational therapy to help me recover from the effects of the chemo. The hardest part was the emotional burden on the family. My grandparents would come down from Pennsylvania (a 10-hour drive) twice a month to be with me…seeing my mother try to smile through the tears as we watched Disney movies together…There were a lot of Disney movies. During the process of going through chemo, my mother & I have become closer than I thought possible. We watched Disney films to keep my mind off the immense bone pain that was a side effect of my treatment.

“The support of both of my parents & my family lead to the foundation that I needed to survive treatment. No one should have to go through cancer alone; the support of family makes the pain easier to bear. Seeing me in pain for such an extended period of time was a battle within its own right. I understand the pain & struggle of both the families of the patients, & the patients themselves.

“[Being a survivor] makes me cherish each day, cherish my family, cherish my friends, & cherish the little things in life that make it so great.”