Upon learning in late July that his seven-year-old son would have to endure a third battle with leukemia, Nebraska assistant Chris Harriman adopted the hashtag #AveryStrong to show his support and even had T-Shirts and banners printed.
Judging by the above video, Avery certainly looks to be living up to the hashtag three weeks into his treatment.
Though chemotherapy may have robbed him of his hair and prevented him from starting first grade with the rest of his classmates, it has not sapped Avery's spirit or will to live. His enthusiasm upon learning that he can finally leave the hospital and return home is proof of that.
Avery was initially diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 2 and relapsed in Oct. 2012. Since doctors were unsure chemotherapy would be enough to eliminate all the cancer cells in his body, Avery underwent a bone marrow transplant in Feb. 2013, a high-risk, high-reward procedure that provided him a new immune system to fight the residual leukemia.
The procedure proved effective for more than a year, but last month a biopsy revealed that Avery's cancer had returned and was no longer in remission. He underwent chemotherapy in hopes of getting the cancer back into remission, upon which the family will discuss further treatment options.
Since Chris Harriman is extremely well liked around college basketball, the former Saint Louis and current Nebraska assistant's son has received great support from coaches across the nation. A signed T-Shirt arrived recently from the Minnesota staff. Other coaches did the Ice Bucket Challenge in Avery's honor. The entire athletic department at Nebraska signed a giant poster that Avery kept in his hospital room.
The survival rate for childhood leukemia drops significantly after each relapse, so Avery still has a long and difficult fight ahead of him. Hopefully he and his family are able to persevere and remain #AveryStrong.
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