Surviving Through Cancer: Advice from a MHS Cancer Survivor


Courtney Chase, ’20, on the left, and Eleanor Aschoff, ’20, on the right.

Liam Boris, Staff Writer

Courtney Chase (’20) was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (or ALL) cancer when she was only four and a half years old. She fought for a long two and half years when finally, she turned seven years old, she won her battle. Now, she has decided to share her experience with Breezes.

In 2014, around 15,780 children aged 0-19 were diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone. Out of an estimate of 72,400,000 children in the United States, that is 0.02% of children, which may seem very small but in reality is quite big for such a horrible disease.

Everybody takes the news of finding out they have cancer differently. Courtney shared her experience of finding out about her diagnosis. “When I was diagnosed with cancer I was only four and a half, so I didn’t completely understand what was happening to me. All I knew was that something bad was happening to me. So, I guess I would say I was very confused and worried that I wasn’t going to make it.”

“Cancer is a huge deal, and a lot of people are affected by it. I do think that the media tries to talk about cancer and help, but there are a lot of people who make jokes about it and make fun of people who have cancer because they don’t have hair or look different than other people. Those people are already going through enough, and it’s sickening to see what people can do to hurt those people during that time. But, I do think that’s been getting better over the years because everyone is starting to understand what it might be like.” Courtney herself participates in cancer awareness. She makes yearly trips to her cousin’s middle school and also created a video in the 2014-2015 school year for cancer awareness at Minnetonka Middle School East as a spokesperson for the organization Pennies for Patients.
Finally, Courtney would like to share her advice and recommendations with those who are experiencing cancer and those who have loved ones with cancer.
Those who have cancer: “When I was almost done with my cancer treatment, my therapist at the hospital asked me to talk to some other kids and families to help them through this time in their life and reassure them and help them feel better. I suggest that if you’re going through this right now, just know that I am praying for you every day, people care about you even if it doesn’t feel like it, and lastly, that you are strong and you’re going to have to fight hard to win this battle but you can do it, I believe in you, and I’m really sorry this is a challenge you have to go through in your life.”
Those who have loved ones with cancer: “I know what it’s like to be on both sides of cancer, to be the one who has to go through it and to be the one who loves someone with cancer. I had a very close friend, we were practically siblings we were so close, and he also had cancer. I also had another friend with cancer in the hospital, and it’s very difficult to watch people you love go through such a terrible situation. All you can do is be there for them and love them and make sure they know that you care. Something that can help reassure someone going through cancer is by trying to save the tears for somewhere that they don’t see it. You can be sad and make sure they know that you’re sorry they have to go through this, but don’t show the tears because that’s one of the most terrifying things when you go through cancer, it makes the person going through it feel scared that they might not make it, it makes them worried.

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