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He lost his sight to cancer, but not his vision of a full life

When Tim Conners collected his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2012 at the age of 18, he was blind from childhood leukemia that had spread to his optic nerve and craving inspiration to transcend his disability. A football player and wrestler who’d never been an outdoorsman, he asked to meet Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on seven continents. Tim’s wish came true. He had 2½ terrifying but transformative days of outdoor adventures in Colorado with Erik, who lost his sight to a degenerative eye disorder at 13. Now Tim is training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the 19,000-foot peak in Tanzania in May, shortly after he graduates from Ithaca College. He’s already climbed four peaks in Colorado, including the 14,000-foot, snow- and loose-rock-covered Mount Sherman last summer. He’s trekked and rafted in the Grand Canyon. “In a lot of ways, losing my sight gave me my vision,” says Tim. Tim’s journey began on April 3, 2010, when he was diagnosed at Upstate Galisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, New York, near his home, with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common pediatric cancer, with an overall 90 percent cure rate. Tim had T-cell ALL, a very aggressive subset that requires an intense chemotherapy regimen to achieve such a high cure rate. The intensive chemotherapy pushed Tim’s leukemia into remission, but the disease was back three m...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center stem cell transplant Source Type: news

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