The only way parents can really understand how their child processed a diagnosis is if he lives to tell them. But as is often the case with trauma, many of the details get blocked out, erased or processed much later.
Adrian Abuanza is one of those survivors. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, in his right leg when he was 6 years old. He’s now 24, cancer-free and pursuing a career in social work.
His parents are Alejandro and Carmen. They moved from Mexico to Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood 27 years ago. Adrian was born a few years later.
We talk to Adrian and his parents, Alejandro and Carmen, about his diagnoses, treatment and the best news you can get on New Year’s Eve.
A postscript to this conversation: This was not the only tragedy to strike the family. Adrian’s sister Alejandria was killed in a car accident in 2010. She was 21. They say the strength they built as a family during Adrian’s illness and survival guided them through the grief of losing their daughter.