Shaine was a healthy 13-year-old high school boy from El Paso, Texas. He was a multisport athlete, playing on his high school basketball and football teams. One weekend, Shaine was at a friend’s house playing football. While playing, Shaine jumped over a wall to catch the football and subsequently landed on his left ankle. Shaine felt an immense amount of pain and tried to “walk it off.” Because the pain was so intense, Shaine was taken to the hospital and underwent X-ray imaging to see if his left ankle was broken. After imaging, the physician diagnosed Shaine with a hairline fracture of the left distal tibia. However, the physician told Shaine that he suspects some underlying pathology was eating at Shaine’s left tibia, predisposing it to fracture with the slightest trauma. Shaine returned to his regular activities despite this pain and even played in his high school football game the following Saturday.
Because Shaine’s physician suspected a tumor, Shaine returned to the hospital the following Monday to undergo some further imaging, which indicated a tumor involving his left distal tibia. A biopsy of his tumor was obtained to identify the nature of the cancer. After extensive investigation, Shaine was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma involving the left distal tibia. Ewing sarcoma is a rare bone tumor that affects 3 children per 1,000,000. Shaine and the medical team decided that chemotherapy and radiation were the best treatment options to save his leg. Shaine immediately underwent his first round of chemotherapy and radiation. “That first treatment blew me away. I lost all my hair.”
Shaine’s life was turned upside down. Two weeks before his diagnosis, Shaine had lost his father to heart failure. To make things worse, Shaine had already lost his mother to cancer at the age of 9. Shaine also had to forfeit his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL due to his tumor inhabiting his dominant leg. However, Shaine found the strength to carry on through his 3 older sisters and brother. Through their support, “I simply kept moving forward.” Shaine used his experiences with being diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma to help inspire and motivate others going through similar trials and tribulations. Shaine perhaps said it best, “I am a sarcoma warrior. My story represents perseverance, struggle, and strength. Every day, my scars remind me of the battle I have fought. I share my story to provide hope and inspiration.”
Today, Shaine is 28-years-old, has completed all his treatments over a decade ago, and continues to call El Paso, Texas, home. He lives a purpose driven life. To give back and inspire others with his ME Brand.
What is ME?
M: Stands for the mountains we face in life. Regardless we still climb as long as your heart is beating.
E: YOU have purpose, YOU have hope.
To learn more about Shaine visit www.mebrandsurvivor.com
Interview and story composed by Harjot Uppal, 2nd year medical student at Albany Medical College