According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, Jason Garskiewicz is just as much a hero off the field as he is playing lacrosse. The 13-year-old plays for his team in Haddonfield, NJ. While his fans are used to him scoring lacrosse goals, they were even more inspired when he beat cancer and overcame the amputation of most of his right leg, says the article.
In December of last year, says the article, Jason was experiencing some ankle pain after basketball practice. Since bumps, bruises, and pain are common things for sports players, Jason and his family did not think a lot about it. The only thing that the teen noticed was a small, aching bump by his ankle.
When the painful bump did not go away, Jason’s parents took him for a doctor’s visit, just in case his ankle has a little fracture. They were not prepared for the news they received. After initial tests, the doctor told the family that Jason had a cancerous tumor, the article states. When specialists at the Philidelphia Children’s Hospital did a biopsy of the tumor, they said that the teen’s only hope was to amputate most of his leg.
Gary and Pam Garskiewicz were shaken after hearing the verdict. They were used to their son being active in the sports that he loved, such as basketball and lacrosse. It was going to be a difficult discussion to have with Jason, says the article. Even though Pam is a doctor at Johns Hopkins, they felt torn as to how to explain the surgery to him.
After the Garskiewiczs broke the news to their son in the hospital, he was completely shaken, says the article. His whole life of sports could be taken away. They took time to share emotions as a family and discussed different options that Jason would have. This amazing teen did not let the news defeat him. According to the article, he went home from the hospital and did some online research about prosthetics and how people can still live normal lives with them.
Jason had his amputation and two rounds of chemotherapy in March. His resiliency has been remarkable. Today, he is back on the lacrosse team and playing the sport he loves. He uses his prosthetic as an advantage instead of a crutch. His story has inspired his family, his school, and the whole community, says the article.