‘I’m going to absolutely try’: Liberty Lake teen trains for football, despite partial leg amputation

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. — Sixteen-year-old Brandon Thomas has a passion for football. He loves being active.

All that came to a halt last spring. Thomas had a foot injury one day after track practice. He said his foot was swelling and it wouldn’t go down.

He went in to get an MRI and doctors diagnosed him with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in March of 2020.

“It was rough. I’ll give you that. It was definitely rough,” he told 4 News Now.

This happened when he was 15. From the time they took him to the doctors to the time of the diagnoses, Melanie Thomas, Brandon’s mother, said it all happened quickly.

“As a parent, when they fall off their bike, I can take care of that. That’s something I can do,” Thomas said. “But, something like that? There’s nothing you can do. So, you’re relying on everybody else to fix and heal your child.”

Doctors did fix and heal Brandon as much as they could. He went through three surgeries. He also had seizures, which made him have to go through chemo longer. Doctors had to space out his chemo so he would have fewer seizures.

Brandon ended up having to get part of his leg amputated days before his 16th birthday. He now has a prosthetic.

“It was hard walking. You have to get used to all the pressure it has on your nub. You just have to get used to it not being your foot and not having balance that you have,” he explained.

Brandon persevered. There was a time when he was getting ready to get his prosthetic in October, but he had to wait because they needed to do another surgery.

“There were definitely days where you start doubting, ‘Is he ever going to get into a leg and walk again?'” Melanie recalled. “So, that’s why. Now just the fact that we got here, it is such a blessing.”

As you can imagine for anyone, especially a teenager, going through something like this, it was tough.

“You do have your down days, completely. But, you have to get back up. You have to keep fighting,” Brandon said.

He did keep fighting, and he started to train again for football.

Brandon was fitted for a prosthetic in February. He got one just a few weeks ago, and just last week, he started training for football again.

On Friday, he felt ready to go back to the football field to cheer on his teammates for the first time in more than a year. Though it was on the sidelines, it’s a step forward for him as he hopes to play again one day.

“I’m going to absolutely try. Right now, that’s what I’m working towards,” he said.

“If there’s anyone that can do it and overcome it and deal with that, it’s our son,” Melanie added.

Through it all, he’s kept going for his passion and his friends and family, who’ve been there for him on his sideline.

“I feel like I’ve had kind of a new perspective on life. Don’t take it too seriously, per say,” he said laughing. “You don’t know what could happen to be honest, and you’ve got to enjoy the moments when you can, the special moments you have with everyone that you love.”

Brandon is now in remission and is off medication. He has to get scans every three months to make sure the cancer won’t come back.

Over the next six months, he may need another prosthetic as he continues to grow.

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