Someone You Should Know: Winning the battle against cancer

Someone You Should Know: Winning the battle against cancer
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 8:20 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sam Matheson loves to golf. He was an active kid, when in the summer of 2018, something didn’t feel right.

“I just felt really tired. And I just couldn’t do everything else that I could normally do.15:43:48 Finally one day, my mom was really worried. So she took me to the hospital, and they did scans, and they said they found something under my left jaw like a tumor,” said Sam.

Sam would be diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. He had a cancerous tumor in his his nasal cavity and left jaw. And he had a long road ahead.

“That blue part is like the tumor, so they eventually had to remove it. But they had to give me a tracheotomy so I could breath. And they had to take muscle from leg here and put it in my jaw. It was rough. Was once every three weeks I would have chemo. And it would make me feel dizzy and nauseous. And I would dread it every week, like having to go to it. These were braces that, because i had neuropathy in my legs after chemo. so I couldn’t walk. Like it was hard for me to walk, and my legs were bending and I had to wear them to straighten them out,” said Sam.

Sam fought through it. Now fifteen years old, he’s in remission.

“I go back every six months for a checkup. And they just make sure everything is okay. They do scans, to make sure nothing shows up again. And they just say as long as I keep doing my best and they do not see anything, then I’ll be fine.

And he’s hitting the links, again.

“Going back to golf. It was like that was the moment that everything was okay, kind of, because I was actually able to swing a club and run around, and do stuff with my friends. It just felt good,” said Sam.

Sam was chosen to be this year’s Sanford Children’s Hospital Ambassador. He’ll be involved in the upcoming Sanford International Golf Tournament.

“They’ll take him out on the course. Go meet some of the PGA Tour players. The players are so excited to meet the ambassador as well. And then his big shoot is Friday, September 16th this year. He’ll do the opening tee shot at the Sanford International,” said Tournament Manager Erica Krohn.

“I’m nervous that I’m just going to miss. or something. (Are you going to practice a lot?) I’m going to have to practice a lot. It’s really cool. For them to recognize me and what I went through is a really big thing. And it’s cool to think that people will see my story, and hopefully be inspired,” said Sam.

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