646 days ago, what were you doing? Can you even remember? Bryce Carter does, because two years ago Bryce was diagnosed with cancer. And 646 days ago, just a few weeks after being diagnosed with Periosteal Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, Bryce was told that he would be needing crutches in order to walk.
Bryce Carter is a fourteen year old cancer survivor and THON child from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Not only does this week mark the biggest event in the Penn State and Four Diamonds Fund calendar, but this Monday, February 11, also marked the end to Bryce’s need for crutches. This upcoming weekend, Bryce, who is supported by the Club Cross Country team, will be joining the Penn State community and the Four Diamonds fund for THON. In a video posted on his Facebook page, Bryce can be seen taking his first steps on his own in nearly two years.
The Carter family has been actively involved in THON and contributed their story to the THON documentary, “Why We Dance,” after receiving a call from the Four Diamonds office shortly after Bryce’s diagnosis.
“Right from the beginning, we were given a social worker from the Four Diamonds Fund to help in all aspects of the treatment and to help us with everything,” Heather Carter, Bryce’s mother, said. She thought that Bryce might be apprehensive to the idea of being followed around with cameras during his illness, but when she asked Bryce about it, “Bryce said, ‘Mommy, I’ll do it. If I can help other people, that would be wonderful.'”
Bryce’s battle with cancer was the only story that the film followed, from beginning to end, documenting the entirety of Bryce’s treatment process. The filmmakers set out to create a better understanding of the yearlong process that is THON. Bryce Carter and his story has not only helped people get a better understanding of what Penn State accomplishes with the Four Diamond’s Fund every year, but has also given us a window in which we can see not only the perils and heartbreak of cancer, but the strength and courage that children like Bryce possess and inspires in all of us.
This weekend, Bryce will be celebrating six months of remission, and, without the assistance of crutches, will be dancing with us For The Cure.