The 68th annual KDKA UPMC Children's Hospital Free Care Fund Benefit Show is this Thursday, Dec. 16.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This year as we get ready for the 68th annual KDKA UPMC Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund Benefit Show, we’re highlighting how UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh continues to change lives, long after patients leave the hospital.

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Chris Scott, 32, is one of those patients.

In fact, he credits his life to UPMC Children’s.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“First of all, I’m alive and very well. So for that alone, I really have to hand it to them,” said Chris.

In the fall of 2000, at age 11, Chris began to notice a change.

“I started getting kind of tired and sick. I had a lot of low-grade fevers and some bruising, but I was just really exhausted and pale and my face looked very sunken,” Chris said.

After a lot of tests, the doctors told his family he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“I asked my mom, ‘Am I going to die?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know, honey, but we’re going to keep working at it and we’re going to fight this,'” he said.

And he did. Through round after round of chemotherapy for nearly four years.

UPMC Children’s pediatric oncologist Dr. Jean Tersak was among the doctors who treated Chris.

“I remember Chris vividly, actually. He was just a very courageous, pleasant, resilient young man,” said Dr. Tersak.

She still sees him regularly, as the head of the hospital’s Survivorship Program, which is a vital link for childhood cancer survivors.

“There are more than half a million young adult survivors of childhood cancer in the country right now. They are healthy, productive individuals in society and have this bright future, like Chris. But they really have special health needs, including monitoring aspects of their health that wouldn’t be needed by someone in the general population. So it is so important after the cure to continue to receive the care,” Dr. Tersak said.

This is actually not the first time Chris has shared his story with KDKA.

Shortly after he was diagnosed, he was a featured patient on the 47th annual Free Care Fund Benefit Show. Now-retired KDKA-TV reporter Mary Robb Jackson interviewed him live. So when we recently met up with Chris, we had a surprise for him.

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We brought along Mary Robb, who is also a cancer survivor, for a special reunion, 21 years later.

Mary Robb: “Christopher Scott, I am a friend from Christmases past. Don’t you look wonderful all grown up?!”

Chris and Mary Robb had a wonderful time reminiscing about his appearance on the show and bonding over their shared experience of being cancer survivors.

Mary Robb: “Actually, you and I had both been diagnosed with cancer.”

Chris: “Yeah, I remember you told me. I also remember you said you were a baldie for a minute. Your words, not mine.”

Mary Robb: “Well, I was.”

Chris: “As was I.”

Mary Robb: “Well you know what, Chris? You were a beautiful little boy and you’re a beautiful human being. You’ve grown up to be a very special person. And I’m so happy to see you. I wish you and your family all the blessings of the holiday. And you and I know that we are blessed.”

Chris: “We absolutely are.”

WATCH: Chris Scott’s Entire Reunion With Mary Robb Jackson

Now, 21 years after his cancer diagnosis, Chris Scott is a living example of the care patients receive at UPMC Children’s, even long after they’re cured.

“I value my situation and my experience, but I value more that I’ve been put in a great place by Children’s by all the treatment and care that I received that I don’t even have to think about it anymore,” Chris said.

His success story is also an inspiration for other kids who are in the fight right now.

WATCH: Chris Scott’s Message To Children Who Are Currently Going Through Cancer Treatments

Chris and countless others are alive today, because of the care they received at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. And the Free Care Fund at UPMC Children’s has helped so many families afford that medical care over the years.

Please help us keep that fund going! Click here to learn how to donate to the Free Care Fund.

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Join us this Thursday, Dec. 16, beginning at 4 p.m. for the 68th annual KDKA Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund Benefit Show.