Unwavering Support Through Cancer
- Teenager Jasper O’Briant was left with a large scar down his arm from battling osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.
- Osteosarcoma begins in the cells that form bones often found in the legs and arms.
- Jasper’s dad and brother got tattoos that matched his surgery scar to show their support for their beloved cancer warrior.
- Treatment options for osteosarcoma includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
- It’s important for cancer warriors know they have a strong support group behind them. It helps them alleviate anxiety and depression as cancer treatments become more intense over time.
Jasper was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in October 2020 after his arm gave out on him during baseball practice. His family first believed he tore his bicep, but doctors later diagnosed the teen with cancer that begins in the bones.Read More
What Is Osteosarcoma?Osteosarcoma is a rare bone cancer that begins in the cells that form bones often found in the legs and arms, according to Mayo Clinic. This type of cancer tends to occur in teenagers and young adults but can appear in younger children and older adults. The cancer forms when the DNA changes in healthy bone cells. “The changes tell the cell to start making new bone when it isn’t needed. The result is a mass or tumor of poorly formed bone cells that can invade and destroy healthy body tissue,” according to Mayo Clinic.
More on Pediatric Cancers
Symptoms and Risk Factors for OsteosarcomaSymptoms of osteosarcoma include:
- Swelling near a bone
- Bone or joint pain
- Bone injury or bone break for no reason
- Previous treatment with radiation therapy
- Other bone disorders
- Inherited or genetic condition such as hereditary retinoblastoma, bloom syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Rothmund-Thomson syndrome, and Werner syndrome.
Treating OsteosarcomaTreatment options for osteosarcoma includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Surgery for osteosarcoma aims to remove all of the cancer cells. Sometimes the surgery procedure only focuses on removing the cancer, other times it involves removing the affected limb with a full or partial amputation.
Chemotherapy uses drugs designed to kill the cancer.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams which include x-rays or protons to kill cancer cells.
Family Supporting Their Cancer Warrior With Tattoos
Jasper O’Briant’s surgery and treatment for osteosarcoma began at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which left the cancer warrior feeling even more isolated as he battled his bone cancer. However, he had the love and support of his family by his side every step of the way.
Jasper’s older brother Nathan and dad thought of a way to help their beloved cancer warrior not feel so alone on his journey to recovery. They decided to each get a tattoo resembling Jasper’s surgery scar on their arms to show their unyielding love and support.
“I was fully on board when we had discussed it. It was never a second doubt in my mind as to what was going to happen there. It was something I wanted to do immediately for him,” Nathan O’Briant said.
They say the tattoos serve as a lifelong reminder to Jasper his family will always love and support him.
“When my dad approached me first, I thought it was really cool and it really meant a lot to me that they wanted to do something permanent to their body that they would never be able to remove. I didn’t get to choose to have surgery done to me, it was to be quite frank, that or death…and the fact that they chose to do it made it very special,” Jasper O’Briant said.
Jody hopes the tattoos also helps raise awareness that leads to more money pumped into researching osteosarcoma.
“When you have such a striking tattoo such as this, people are going to ask, ‘Well what’s that for?” Jody O’Briant said.
“Osteosarcoma for teenager, for pediatric osteosarcoma, is a very real disease that is very intense, very difficult, and not very well publicized and not much money raised for it either….We’d love more money to be put towards the needs of families and children that are walking through this,” Jody O’Briant continued.
WATCH: A Cancer Survivor’s Ode To Friends and Family “My Support System.”
It’s important for cancer warriors know they have a strong support group behind them. It helps them alleviate anxiety and depression as cancer treatments become more intense over time.
Dr. Shelly Tworoger, a researcher at Moffitt Cancer Center told SurvivorNet that “there’s a number of common things cancer patients can experience, such as anxiety, depression, financial toxicity, social isolation.” So knowing you have loved ones by your side at every step and help you process those emotions and cope with your new reality during your journey.
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