Child Cancer Survivor Loses Leg, Gains Hope

Kristofer Robinson loves finding the missing parts for Mr. Potato Head. He can relate.

The three-year-old Saxonburg boy lost his leg to cancer one year ago. It slowed him down, but it didn’t stop him.

Rachel Robinson first became concerned when her son complained of pain in his leg. An MRI at Children’s Hospital revealed the worst news possible.

“The doctor called me at 3:23 in the afternoon and said ‘Mrs. Robinson, I’m really sorry to tell you this, but your son has a large pelvic mass and it’s not promising,’” Rachel said.

Kristofer was diagnosed with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, a very rare disease. In fact, only 500 cases have been diagnosed since 1959.

When chemotherapy failed, the last hope was to surgically remove one leg and part of his pelvis. A prosthetic was built to match his needs, followed by physical therapy.

“Ultimately the goal is for him to be able to walk with his prosthesis without any assistance device, without having to hold on to anyone across surfaces that are level or uneven,” said physical therapist Elizabeth Betancourt.

Kristofer’s grandmother, Laneice Olesnevich, has been a nurse at Butler Hospital for 32 years. She knows good care when she sees it.

“Half his pelvis and leg’s gone, and they have rebuilt his body and they have put his spirit back. And we rejoice,” she said.

One year later, the little boy’s cancer has not returned.

“Children’s Hospital has been our saving grace.”


One Comment

  1. Sara Sams says:

    Im so glad too hear Kristofer is doing so well. I know the pain of a child with Cancer. My five yr.old Niece in Mercer,Pa. is now fighting the fight of her young life..I pray daily for all Cancer patients and their familys . It is so hard to watch a child who is so gravley ill . I pay we find a cure cure soon. Besy wishes & prayers to all.

  2. jeannette russell says:

    My daughter, Brett, was one of SIX children diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2001 in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Pa. Not one government agency, local, state or Federal will look into this cancer cluster. I wrote a book about what happened to our family titled “How to Survive(and Thrive) in a Toxic World” available on If anyone from Pittsburgh knows of these other children besides my daughter, who were suffering with this disease at the same time, please feel free to contact me through my publisher at

  3. Sue Inglis says:

    I am so happy to see Kristopher walking on his own and cancer free. I remember seeing him walking the ninth floor halls of Children’s Hospital when my grandson Ethan was a patient there. Unfortunately, Ethan lost his brave battle with cancer, but it gives me such hope to see Kristopher and other children beat this horrible disease. Happy Holidays to Kristopher and his family.

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