CLEVELAND (WJW) – At the age of 17, Dylan Fink is your typical teenager.
A junior at Stow High School, Dylan is a busy young man balancing classwork, sports, and a social life.
“I don’t think I have a dream job; I am one of those people that doesn’t know,” shared Fink.
Dylan might not know what his future holds, but he does know where he has been.
Just days after starting high school in 2020, Dylan went into surgery to treat a swollen lymph node.
His parents, Ed and Krista Fink, were the first to learn about the devastating outcome.
“The surgeon came out after the surgery and told us right there and then that he has cancer,” said Krista.
Over the next 8 months, Dylan received 6 rounds of grueling chemotherapy, spent over 100 days in the hospital, and felt the cruel side effects that come with treatment.
“It‘s probably one of the hardest things you can do in your life. You know like some of the treatment, you can’t even walk,” Dylan explained.
So when he needed a distraction or something to look forward to, Dylan turned to sports.
In particular, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I really enjoyed watching them because they are a great group of people and are really passionate about playing,” shared Dylan.
Dylan’s favorite player during that 2020 season was Larry Nance Jr.
During a tough stretch in his treatment, Ed Fink went to a mutual friend of the Nance family and asked Nance for a favor.
The former Cavs big man came through in a big way, sending a personal message to Dylan to encourage him to keep fighting.
Throughout the rest of Dylan’s treatment, Nance sent several messages of encouragement via social media and other platforms.
Each word means the world to Dylan and his family.
“It’s just inspiring to see like ‘wow’ this professional took his time to send a message to me. It’s motivational,” explained Dylan.
Then in 2021, exactly eight months after receiving his diagnosis, Dylan learned that his cancer was officially in remission.
This year, Wishes Can Happen, a non-profit organization that helps children with life-threatening illnesses in Ohio, came through for Dylan in a big way before a Cavs home opener in January.
“His wish was player interaction and to really just have a special day,” explained Wishes Cam Happen VP, Lisa Marshall.
Dylan says his entire experience meeting the Cavs was incredible but one moment stood out among the rest.
Now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Larry Nance Jr just so happened to be in town that night to play against the Cavs.
Nance Jr made sure to meet Dylan and take the time to get several pictures together.
“It was probably one of the best moments of my life,” shared Dylan.
The Fink Family started a foundation called “Fearless Fighters”, which helps raise money to support pediatric patients with cancer.
To donate to their cause, click here.
To donate to the “Wishes Can Happen” foundation, click here.