Bremen teen beats cancer and inspires others
Here's a story full of inspiration. Bremen teen is diagnosed with cancer. But not only does he beat the odds, he tackles life with a zest that you might not expect from a typical 16-year-old.
Dylan Shumaker is a star wrestler at Bremen High School. And not even cancer could keep Dylan off the mat for good. He's just as strong and determined as ever, but that's not to say Dylan's journey over the last year and a half has been easy.
Just watching Dylan wrestle, you can tell he's a stand out athlete.
"I'm really competitive," he said.
But there was a time when Dylan wondered if his sports career was over.
"I was kind of scared," he said.
It all began the summer of 2012 during a football game. Dylan slipped and thought he pulled a hamstring, but the pain was more intense than anything he had ever experienced.
"It was really hard to walk, it was like paralyzing me," he said.
Dylan went to the ER where an MRI scan revealed tumors in his spinal cord. He was immediately air-lifted to Riley's Children Hospital.
"Part of me was relieved we knew, but the other part of me was scared and numb like what do we do next, what do we do now?" said Kay Shumaker, Dylan's mother.
Dylan spent the next few months in and out of the hospital. During that time, he underwent radiation therapy to remove the largest tumor, which was the size of a baseball.
"He says what's gonna happen and I said it doesn't matter what happens, you just have to promise me that you'll never give up and I remember him looking up at me and saying Mom you know me better than that, I'm not gonna give up," Kay said.
The radiation treatment continued and about five months after he was diagnosed, a scan showed Dylan's tumors had not grown. He's in stable condition.
"I didn't want any of my kids to end up like this, but he's got the toughest spirit to make it thru something like this out of all four of my kids," Kay said.
And it didn't take long before Dylan was back in sports.
"My teammates keep me going," he said.
Proving that he's a fighter both on the wrestling mat and off.
"He's a strong kid from a strong family, he's a big inspiration to a lot of people around here," said Shawn Campbell, Dylan's wrestling coach.
So far, Dylan is 10-1 during this his junior season. He's also active in soccer and baseball and hopes to eventually go to Indiana University for college.