May 20, 2008

Freedom Teen Battles Cancer With Positivity

FREEDOM ― A young man from Beaver County is becoming nationally-known for his battle with cancer and the incredibly positive message he has for others.

John Challis, from Freedom, is getting calls from baseball, football and hockey stars. On Sunday night, he was picked up by a limo along with his mother, father and sister, and whisked away to Game 2 at Mellon Arena.

He met Mario Lemieux, Ben Roethlisberger and Art Rooney.

Two years ago, Challis was diagnosed with cancer of the lung and liver. His life is measured in days.

"I ain't gonna lie - I do get scared - but I don't let it bother me," he said. "You just can't let those little things control you life."

No one is giving up, but doctors tell John the cancer is winning right now.

"They say it could be a couple of months - could be a couple of years - who knows it's all in God's hands," he said.

John's room has wall to wall team banners his dad has brought home for him and he's very proud of the scrapbooks his mom is making. Besides proms, there are snaps of sports, hunting and fishing trips, family vacations and famous new friends.

"The only person that I haven't really came in contact with and would love to is Emeril Lagasse - I'm really big into cooking," he said.

But, most importantly, John speaks to your very soul about his mission here on earth and the message he's here to deliver.

"Don't look at dying as a bad thing - look it as a chance to meet God - and make the best of the time you do have," he said.

And John will be ready when it's time to round the bases and head for home.

"Meeting God - that'd be pretty cool - well it gonna be pretty cool," he said.