(WBTV) - September 24th: This 21-year-old just blew me away. Who recognizes him?
We first featured Seth Strickland from Shelby over nine years ago. He was 12-years-old at the time and had just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a wicked bone cancer. It had also spread to his lungs.
Over the course of time, this honor student had four years of surgeries, chemo treatments and radiation. He relapsed four times with tumors in his lungs.
Yet when I saw him at a wedding two weekends ago, he told me he is now five years cancer-free.
We always tell the Good, the Bad and the Always Real. Seth is certainly part of the Good.
Last I’d seen Seth was a few years ago when he was on his way to NC State. This year, he transferred to UNC Charlotte. He is in a band, loves his music and hanging out with friends.
Funny story: He first picked up a guitar at 12-years-old. He did that in front of our WBTV News cameras – I have a distinct memory of standing in his kitchen next to his mom Sharon, watching Seth say he thought he should find a new hobby to help him get through the treatments he had ahead of him. So he was going to try guitar.
That hobby turned into true talent. In fact, he was the guitarist during the wedding ceremony where I saw him (it was his cousin getting married) and I had to check the program and name five times. He was AMAZING.
Seth later told me he loves classic and southern rock, and his band’s name is Rivers End. They play in Charlotte.
He laughed when I called him an “old soul,” then agreed. Mark my words, Seth: I’m going to show up some weekend night to see you play sometime. You are really, really good. #MollysKids
**NOTE**: These 30 September #MollysKids stories highlight REAL kids in our community who battle. The stories are meant to be shared and educate about pediatric cancer, as they have every September since 2013. This year, I also encourage you to comment below with a message. Not to me. Please don’t write me. Write Seth. Or his mom, Sharon. Consider it like sending a handwritten card, only easier. They won’t think you’re a stranger. You are support. Cancer can feel like an island – let them know you are present. The Good, the Bad and the Always Real. Right? Every post. Every day. Thank you.
*Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.