As you all know, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  And we get the opportunity to share an amazing story with you.  A story that is a testament to the human will to survive and the power of progress.  Meet 7-year-old Blaine Hawkins of Mount Carmel, Illinois.  He has just beaten a rare form of cancer.  In fact, he's the first documented survivor of neuroblastoma that spread to the adrenal, spine and brain.  Here's Blaine's miraculous story of diagnosis and his unbelievable road to recovery.

Picasa/Riley Children's Foundation
Picasa/Riley Children's Foundation

The initial problems with Blaine were discovered in utero and quickly escalated once he was born.  He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and had his first surgery at the age of 9 weeks old.  Eighteen months later he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer when tumors were found on his brain.  And, Blaine's battle then resumed.  He underwent a 14-hour brain surgery and seven rounds of intensive chemotherapy.  As if the child wasn't subjected to enough, tumors were discovered and removed from his stomach.  Blaine had a stem cell transplant, 12 rounds of radiation and then was treated with 20 rounds of Proton Beam Radiation to the spine and brain when doctors discovered a second brain tumor.  Blaine's chances of survival were a mere five percent.  Let that resonate for a second.  Five percent.

But look at him now!

Blaine is a survivor.  A walking miracle.  And a major success story from Riley Children's Health.  It's a story like Blaine's that really stresses the importance and power of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Stories like Blaine's are proof that progress is being made every day in the fight against cancer and more children afflicted with the disease are able to stand strong and beat it.

And Blaine has beaten virtually every single odd stacked against him.  Diagnosed at nine-weeks-old and standing tall and strong now at the age of seven.

It's a story like his that makes Childhood Cancer Awareness month a happy, powerful and monumental month.  So, keep celebrating and, most importantly, keep fighting.