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Joe is a 16 year old who loves sports, especially swimming, and is a kind and loving young man who always thinks of others before himself.
In December 2016, Joe had extreme pain in his left collarbone, to the point that he started crying. After three days of tears with no visible trauma to the area, his family scheduled a doctor’s appointment. They ordered an x-ray that came out normal, showing no growth, fracture or abnormalities.
By January 2017, the pain was unbearable for Joe. There was a lump the size of a golf ball on his collarbone. Even a t-shirt rubbing skin over the lump caused intense pain.
His mom, Tanya, called the doctor but they requested the family wait eight more weeks before repeating the x-ray. Joe’s family didn’t want to wait that long, so they got the x-ray and within a week they confirmed he had high-grade osteosarcoma. Joe started chemotherapy in the middle of February 2017 and has had inpatient treatment ever since. Joe’s port was recently removed last fall and he is currently considered to have no evidence of disease.
His mother’s hope is that Joe survives and eventually attends college to become a chef since that has been his dream since grade school. After all of Joe’s treatment is complete, his mom wants to find a way to pay for him to attend Cincinnati State University’s culinary arts program.
Joe is his mother’s hero because he is the bravest young man she’s ever met! He is never afraid and he goes through his treatment with a positive and caring attitude. At every hospital stay, his care team is impressed with how upbeat Joe is and he thanks every person from the oncologist to the hospital janitors.
To their family, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation means hope that one day enough awareness will be raised so there is as much research for childhood cancer as adult cancers.
Joe always gives his mother hope by saying, “I will survive because I can’t go!”
Information provided by Tanya Buren, Joseph’s mother
Updated December 2017
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