A teenager from Florida initially thought that his symptoms meant that he had the flu, but he later realized that he was instead battling stage 4 cancer.
The teenager is still fighting back not just against cancer but also against an unwarranted case of cyberbullying.
Cancer, Not Flu, For Florida Teen
Hunter Brady, a 16-year-old teenager from Tampa, Florida, was always feeling tired and running short of breath in November last year. His doctor told him that it was likely the flu, which may have been a scary thought due to how devastating this year's flu season is.
However, Brady likely never imagined what would come next. A few weeks after being diagnosed with the flu, he was rushed by his parents to the emergency room as his condition took a turn for the worse. By the time Brady arrived at the hospital, doctors discovered that his right lung had already collapsed, while his left lung was 30 percent collapsed.
After undergoing a series of tests, Brady was told that he was in a fight against stage 4b Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is a type of cancer that occurs in the victim's white blood cells.
Brady has had a blood transfusion, a bone marrow biopsy, and a series of operations to drain fluid building up inside his heart and lungs. Going in and out of the hospital takes up most of his time, as he undergoes chemotherapy sessions at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital and then rests while at home. The treatment has resulted in Brady losing all of his hair.
"I'm going to beat it, I ain't giving up," Brady said in an interview, showing the kind of resolve needed to win the fight against cancer. According to Brady, once he beats the cancer, he will start studying to become a pastor.
Brady's family has launched a YouCaring page to help pay for Brady's medical costs. The fundraising campaign has raised over $2,700.
Bullying Must Stop
While Brady and his family were going through this grueling ordeal, he has been victimized by cyberbullying. One of the bullies, a teenager he did not know, left a comment on an Instagram post by Brady saying "you deserve cancer."
"I told him I really didn't care what he said ... I really don't," said Hunter. "He doesn't know how it feels. So, when he does, he'll realize and then he'll feel bad. I hope he does feel bad."
To show their support for Brady, 17 of his classmates also shaved their head. Unfortunately, they were also targeted by bullies.
It is unclear what the agenda of the bullies are, but fortunately, Brady seems to be stronger than anything he reads or hears.