BUFFALO, N.Y. – (WIVB)- For most of us, this week is time to gather with family and friends and reflect on what we’re thankful for. But for a Chautauqua County teen who battled cancer, this Thanksgiving is special.
The sound of the survival victory bell at Roswell Park ringing, is something the Mckane family has been praying to hear for for the past two years.
“I’m excited because it’s done,” said 14-year-old Cancer survivor, Drake Mckane. ” Now we’re here we’re so happy,” said his mother Debbie Mckane. “We’re hoping it never comes back.”
Drake is in his freshman year at Chautauqua Lake Central School.
While he looks and acts like your typical 14-year-old, he’s been through much more than the average teen.
“Drake woke up and couldn’t move his arms and his leg was swollen,” said his mother, Debbie Mckane. “So we got an x-ray done and we went back and forth with the doctor.”
That was back in November of 2017. Drake was diagnosed with high risk Leukemia at just 12-years-old. “When we found out it’s like our world came crashing down,” said Debbie Mckane.
Since then Drake has spent many days in and out of hospital rooms. “He’s been through some pretty intense chemo,” she said. “He’s had some ups and downs. and honestly I wasn’t sure if we were going to ring the bell just being such a high risk.”
It’s been a struggle not only for the teen and for his family. To cope, they found comfort in each other and in the little things.
“He just found it very therapeutic and mentally calming putting Legos together,” she said.
Now in remission, he and his mother collect brand new Legos and hand them out to other pediatric patients. “We wanted to repay the community for everything they’ve done for us,” she said. They’ve already collected 500.
For Drake and his family the bell ringing is the the sound of a new beginning. Ringing in a new chapter, with a renewed sense of hope.
And Drake wants to pass that hope on to others. “Know that you’re going to ring that bell someday,” he said.
To celebrate Drake’s Journey, a blood drive is being held December 7th at Mayville Park. The Mckane family is also collecting new Lego sets for their next delivery at this event.