Valley family's courageous fight - | WBTV Charlotte

Valley family's courageous fight


Life has changed dramatically in just the past few months for a Cave Creek family.

Their once very healthy son, who never even had a cavity, is now battling a rare form of childhood cancer.

"In the middle of the summer my neck started to hurt and we thought it was just from dehydration and stuff like that," said 12-year-old Calvin Schenck.

But a trip to the doctor revealed something far more serious for the seventh grader.

"His C-1 vertebrae, what your head sits on, was half-way eroded," said Eddie Schenck, Calvin's father.

In September, doctors at Phoenix Children's Hospital performed an emergency spinal fusion - complete with titanium plates and screws.

The cause of Calvin's neck problems turned out to be a tumor and he was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma - a cancer that develops from nerve tissue. 

"I just kind of had to adapt to the situation," said Calvin. "I didn't really know what to think. I was afraid and didn't want this to happen to me."

He has already completed three out of six rounds of chemotherapy and will soon begin his fourth.

Calvin still has more surgery and more intense therapy, including radiation, to endure.

"Looking way into the future, we're just looking at it as a race," said Eddie Schenck. "Just steady and get to the finish line."

During that grueling race to good health, reading get well letters from his friends and making rock sculptures help keep Calvin's spirits up.

"I just believe if you keep a good attitude about things, you'll have a better turnout," he said. "Mind over matter."

A fundraising carwash is being held Saturday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Black Mountain Elementary School in Scottsdale.

All proceeds will benefit the Schenck family and help defray the costs of Calvin's recovery.

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