Arthur Wear of Des Allemands holds a mantra dear, one he learned while battling cancer that manifested when he was just 15 years old: We walk by faith, not by sight.
The words were written on a tile in his Ochsner hospital room, and they hit home with him. Later, when he was released from the hospital, he found a piece of paper on the street: randomly, the same phrase was written upon it.
“It stuck with him … it brought him back to his faith,” said his sister, Victoria Ford.
That faith helped him beat his rare form of cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, once. But three years after it went into remission, it’s returned, and that faith has become more important than ever for Wear, who turned 22 in early October.
Ford said the cancer is in his lungs, and while he’s undergoing chemotherapy, his treatment can’t be as intense as it was before, as his body would not be able to handle it.
“His doctor explained that his type of cancer is really rare and very aggressive,” Ford said. “What he went through the first time was super intense. It’s a nightmare … he has to go through it all over again.”
Ewing’s sarcoma grows in bones or the soft tissue around bones, like cartilage and nerves. It usually affects people between the ages of 10 and 20. Regardless of where it starts, it can spread to vital organs like the lungs, heart and kidneys, and in these cases the threat is more serious. It’s unclear what causes Ewing’s sarcoma. It doesn’t appear to be hereditary, and research suggests it’s not related to environmental catalysts.
The illness affects approximately 200 children and young people each year in the United States.
When Wear was 15, he learned he had pulmonary embolisms and blood clotting. It was not until two years later that it was found the clot was caused by a tumor in his leg. On the day of his 17th birthday, he learned he had Ewing’s sarcoma. He underwent intense chemotherapy and blood and platelet transfusion, and the cancer went into remission until September of this year.
“What he went through the first time was super intense. It’s a nightmare … he has to go through it all over again.” — Victoria Ford
It’s been a difficult time in general for the family. Arthur and Victoria lost their mother last year and their grandmother also passed recently. Both provided incredible support during Wear’s first fight. Their mother set up the group Arthur’s Army to provide updates on his condition and progress, making T-shirts and providing comfort in the belief that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and that Wear and the family would get through this.
For her part, Ford is trying her best to be that light now for her brother, and offer whatever help she can. She started a GoFundMe page to help him with his medical expenses (titled “Arthur’s Army – Relapse”) noting on the page “We won’t lose faith and we are going to fight just as hard as we did the first time.” She said it’s particularly difficult right now for him because it limits his ability to work.
She said he’s staying positive, but added “he’s the type of person who will put on a brave face to make you feel better.”
“Of the three of us (siblings), he’s the most loveable and caring … he’s just so soft-hearted and he cares about everyone,” Ford said. “Sometimes he cares too much. He’s a really great person and a really great brother.”
Ewing’s sarcoma cancer
- Ewing’s sarcoma grows in bones or the soft tissue around bones, like cartilage and nerves.
- It usually affects people between the ages of 10 and 20.
- Regardless of where it starts, it can spread to vital organs like the lungs, heart and kidneys, and in these cases the threat is more serious.
- It’s unclear what causes Ewing’s sarcoma. It doesn’t appear to be hereditary, and research suggests it’s not related to environmental catalysts.