June is Cancer Survivors Month,
Read Jackson’s Story!
My name is Jackson Carter. I am 16 years old, and I am a cancer survivor. When I was 9 years old I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, which is a solid bone tumor. My tumor was located in my left distal femur. I was treated in St. Petersburg, Florida at All Children’s Hospital.
During the 11 months of chemotherapy, I had surgery that removed the tumor and an internal prosthetic leg put in its place. The implement, made by Stanmore-Stryker, was made to be able to lengthen each month as I grew in height. It would grow, using an electromagnet that turned a gear in the prosthetic. This allowed me to catch up in height with my healthy leg without needing any medical procedures.
Each month I would have an appointment with my Orthopedic Oncologist, Dr. Odion Binitie, and his PA, Dave Johnson. They would check the status of my leg and extend my leg if needed. For each extension, my leg would grow up to 4 mm or less. Most of these appointments were easy, with the exception of a few where the prosthetic was slightly overextended and caused pain in my leg.
Since my initial surgery, I have had 2 revisions that required me to return to All Children’s for surgery and recovery. Each of these surgeries takes roughly 4-5 weeks for me to be fully recovered. At the beginning of May, I had my most recent surgery. Since I am done growing at 6’2’’ they replaced the growing rod with a full adult prosthetic. This new implementation should last roughly 15 years.
At the end of May, I will celebrate 6 years of being cancer and chemo-free. Being able to be cancer-free, and having my leg preserved is something I am so grateful for. I am equally grateful for the care that I received, especially from Dr. Damon Reed, Dr. Odion Binitie, and the amazing nurses at All Children’s Hospital.