Teen thought he had a lingering cold before being diagnosed with cancer
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - Austin is a typical teenager, spending much of his free time texting friends and playing games on his smartphone.
However, his favorite way to spend his time is playing football and basketball.
Last spring, all of those things Austin loves were sidelined when he got sick and just couldn't get better.
"We had a bug. We all threw up, and all got over it within 24 to 48 hours," says Brenda Carlile, Austin's mother. " Except he kept running a fever."
That's when Austin shared something with his mother he had not told her.
"He decided to show us that he had a lump on his neck, and said, 'Hey, I don't know what this is," says Carlile.
Concerned, the family took him to their pediatrician who did blood work, and a scan of the lump on his neck.
At that point, Austin's parents received the call no parent wants to get.
"Friday, after the CT scan, told us we needed to watch him for his breathing, and that he had some type of cancer," says Carlile.
Austin's mother wrestled with how to break the news to the teen.
"Me and my husband talked about it, just how are we going to explain this?" remembers Carlile.
The family was sent to the Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer, where doctors diagnosed Austin with a common form of childhood cancer called Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
"He also presented in the typical fashion for a teenage boy, which is he had symptoms for quite a while before he ever told his parents," says Dr. Laura Rooms, Austin's doctor.
A team of physicians started treating Austin with chemotherapy, and his parents enrolled him in a study so he could get an experiemental drug that specifically targets Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Just three months later, and in his final round of chemotherapy, Austin is winning the fight.
"His second scan showed it's almost gone," says Carlile.
Austin is now looking forward to getting back on the football field again this fall.
In fact, this courageous teen never stopped going to school throughout his treatment.
"I've liked going to school, so I like, just try to be normal and not have to think about this as much," says Austin.
Austin will still undergo a round of radiation, and will continue to visit Jimmy Everest every few weeks for the foreseeable future.
His team of physicians at Jimmy Everest are hopeful.
"We expect him to be cured, and move on with his life, and do all the things that he wants to do," says Dr. Rooms.
Austin's mother is in awe every day of her son's bravery through such a tough battle.
"Day by day, it's just a fight that we're going to fight, and we're going to win," says Carlile.
For more information, or if you would like to donate to cure cancer in Oklahoma's children, please visit JECfriends.org.
"Kids With Courage" is sponsored by the Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer.
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