GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Chad Curtis’ faith says, “The race is not given to the swift or to the strong, but to the one who endures to the end.”
“It wasn’t a very comfortable experience,” said Curtis.
Life slowed Curtis’ pace when he was five years old but said his faith helped him move forward. He reflects on his battle in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
“I remember having my port that we had to change all the time,” said Curtis.
He was diagnosed with a rare, fast-growing cancer called Burkitt lymphoma. He battled it for six months.
“There was one point that I do remember of, coming home from the hospital and being from the chemo, too weak to get up a flight of three stairs that we had at home,” said Curtis.
Curtis now runs bleachers.
“I’m going to do everything within my power that I can control to be the healthiest I can be,” said Curtis.
He is a cancer survivor turned strength trainer who encourages kids like 10-year-old Ava Weis to go the distance.
“I definitely try to hang out with my friends a lot more and try to make the best of life,” said Weis.
Doctors diagnosed Weis with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January. Her dog has been the best medicine.
When asked about her greatest fear during her battle, she said, “that my friends would think differently of me.”
They did not. They have had her back through the hair loss and isolation.
“I definitely learned how to be thankful,” said Weis.
Weis’ mom, Jennifer, learned the power of prayer.
“My prayers for Ava were for healing and prayers for her care team, for guidance and wisdom,” said her mom.
Those prayers were answered.
“Oh, we are so thankful,” her mom said.
Weis went into remission in July.
“I get to see my friends, I get to learn, I get to have recess,” said Weis.
She gets her life back, like Curtis. Both made it to the finish line.
“God’s still in the business of working miracles,” said Curtis.