Meet our young warriors

Meet Skylar – Synovial Sarcoma Warrior

"The help from the NCCS is greatly appreciated," said Patricia, Skylar's mom.

As an avid soccer and basketball player, 10 year-old Skylar knew playing sports can result in injury. She broke her heel when she was eight. So when she began experiencing foot pain again, Skyler and her mom Patricia, assumed it was just irritation from her old injury. They decided to wait until after soccer and basketball season to see a doctor because she really didn’t want to give up playing just yet. When Skyler finally sought help, which was almost a year since her pain began, doctors thought it was plantar fasciitis. Physical therapy and orthotics were prescribed to help with the pain. However, after a month, her condition worsened and Patricia asked their doctor for an MRI at her next checkup. The MRI results showed something that her doctor had never seen before. It wasn’t plantar fasciitis – it was a small tumor on the bottom of her foot. Skylar was referred to a hospital in Cleveland for a complete biopsy. The results were shattering. Skylar had so much more than irritation from an old injury – she had stage 4 Synovial Sarcoma, an extremely rare cancer.

Skylar began chemotherapy immediately but it was unsuccessful. The best chance for her survival was an agonizing decision for any parent – Skylar’s leg needed to be amputated near the middle of her calf.

With her hospital being an hour each way, along with appointments four times a week, Patricia saw how quickly they were putting miles on their car. Skylar’s father got time off, albeit without pay, so Patricia picked up a part-time job to help offset their increased expenses. But they were still struggling and reached out to the NCCS. “The NCCS has helped with some financial assistance for our travels,” shared Patricia. “It is greatly appreciated.”