Teen Who Lost Leg to Cancer Thrives in Swimming

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EASTLAKE, Ohio -- Can you imagine being 9 years old and hearing your mother ask you, “Your leg or your life?” Most 9 year olds wouldn’t understand, but Jack did.

Jack Misny, 16, is wise beyond his years. He chose life knowing it wouldn’t be easy. Jack was diagnosed with Chondroblastic Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He spent over 70 days in the hospital, and more than a week in intensive care.

“It got repetitive and stale,” Jack said. “I couldn’t stand it. I knew I was coming to the end.”

Jack could see the light at the end of the tunnel. In his eyes, the light was the dream of being a kid again. He wanted to enjoy the parts of his childhood that were taken away from him. One of those was swimming.

“I thought it wasn’t going to be a great idea,” John Misny, Jack’s father said.

John saw people stare at his son and point their fingers when Jack would visit the public pools. John also didn’t like the idea of Jack wearing a swimsuit with one leg. How would it work? But Jack was always up for the challenge. He didn’t care what people said about him. Swimming was something he could work toward getting better at. Swimming made him happy.

“It’s just always fun,” he said. “I can’t be happier.”

On December 15, 2011, Jack heard the news he had been waiting to hear. He was cured of cancer. The cancer that he endured since he was a boy was finally gone. Now, Jack is living out his dream of becoming a competitive swimmer. He is a member of the Eastlake North swim team.

“I was Jack,” he said. “I left, but I just came back. You can’t give up hope.”

Jack plans on attending Ohio State University. He wants to be a pediatrician. Jack’s goal is to share his message with children who are faced with challenges like his. All it takes is hope.

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