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Child Cancer Survivor Loses Leg, Gains Hope

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

CBS Pittsburgh (con't)

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Health News & Information: CBSPittsburgh.com/Health

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.”

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