Johns Hopkins Magazine -- June 1998
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JUNE 1998


H E A L T H    A N D    M E D I C I N E

Adding Life
Excerpted from Fighting Chance by Harry Connolly

Halfway through his junior year in high school, Keith Patrick was diagnosed with cancer. So began the battle of his life--a battle captured in pictures by photographer Harry Connolly, who spent three years following three pediatric oncology patients in (and out) of Hopkins Hospital.

I wasn't afraid of the cancer. The cancer didn't hurt. It's the chemo that hurts. I started the chemotherapy because I didn't want to leave my dog. Who would feed her, look after her? I did it for Mom and Dad. I didn't do it for me. I didn't want to do it. Period.
Chemo is maturity in a bottle. When you have to fight for tomorrow, you grow up today. You fight better as an adult. I'm going to be as different as I want to be. I'll say whatever I want to say.
Keith is a typical teenager. Keith never believed that something bad would happen to him and he went on with his life as if nothing had happened. And that's wonderful.
--Dr. Kastan
What good has come of this? That he's alive. Without the chemo, I would never have seen him dress up for the prom, I would never have seen him be the best man at his brother's wedding. I would not have seen him dressed up today for his new job. The longer he lives, the more memories I have--seeing him jumping on the trampoline or playing basketball. Look what he's been able to experience: he's got a beautiful girlfriend, great friends. He's got so much now he didn't have then. He's added to his life. That is what living is about. You keep adding life. Every day.