February 29, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KELOWNA – The Kelowna boy who beat bone cancer in 2014 got a special message from a Harlem Globetrotter last week.
In late 2013, Liam Lauinger, 11, was diagnosed with a localized osteosarcoma, a tumor that protruded from the bone above his knee. If left untreated the cancer would have spread to his lungs, so his parents Shilo Lauinger and Amber Biglow took him to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver where he was put on chemotherapy.
Surgeons removed 23 centimetres of bone from his leg, and he spent months in a wheelchair. He was also confined to his room after the chemotherapy decimated his immune system. While he struggled to regain the full use of his leg, he caught a cold that put him back in hospital, but two years later, Liam is almost back to his old self.
“He's doing great,” Amber says. “He’s still working hard at physio twice a week and he still has to go through checkups every three months with his oncology team but he is doing fantastic. His femur has completely healed and was finally given the go ahead a couple months ago that he can fully weightbear and work his tail off to get his strength back.”
To help inspire Liam his parents got tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Southern Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton tonight, Feb. 29. But that was only part of the surprise his mother had planned for him.
“I sent (the Harlem Globetrotters) a quick email to see if they could do anything special for Liam because he loves basketball,” Amber says.
In response Liam got a video from Globetrotter Julian “Zeus” McClurkin.
“So glad to hear you’re doing better,” he says. “As part of the Great Assist, the Harlem Globetrotters are honouring people all over the world, and this year we chose you. We’re going to put a smile on your face. We’re going to bring you and your family to the game with us. We’re going to have a special meet and greet experience.”
Amber says she is not sure exactly what the Globetrotters have planned for them but is certain it will be memorable.
“Tonight is going to be a night we'll never forget,” she says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at email@example.com or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016