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May 21, 2009
Lawrence Chacon, an optician, was 26-years-old when he found a bump on his left leg that wouldn't go away. His primary care physician thought it was a cyst and tried to drain it before discovering that the growth was solid. He referred Lawrence to a bone specialist who sent him to a surgeon who finally diagnosed the tumor in his leg as a soft-tissue sarcoma.
Lawrence eventually found his way to the Arizona Cancer Center where he had the tumor, which had quickly grown back, removed a second time and underwent radiation and chemotherapy.
"At first it wasn't easy, but there are two ways to do it - you can give up or you can keep fighting," he said.
His journey through cancer was at times challenging, but there were also wonderful discoveries along the way. His friends and family rallied around him and he was able to welcome a third child - a daughter - on his 27th birthday.
"I have a 4-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 2-month-old who was born on March 3, my birthday," he said. "They've helped me get through this. They keep me smiling. I see their joy at having me around and it gives me strength. It makes me want to be there for them. It keeps me fighting. You don't give up when you've got kids."