Tualatin youth honored during OMSI Celebration of Courage event
Tualatin youth was among those recognized May 28 during the Children's Cancer Association's annual Celebration of Courage event held at OMSI. The Twality Middle School student was among a group of 12 "heroes" recognized for their exceptional courage, wisdom and grace in the face of serious medical challenges.
This year, the 12 were given medals from Drew Carney, news personality for KGW, and Jack Pipkin, vice president of business development and national partnerships at the Children's Cancer Association.
The medal ceremony was followed by a group dove release by the young people who released their very own dove outside on the OMSI courtyard. The ceremony was followed by dinner and treats.
Ethan's life has been full of challenges since birth, starting with spina bifida as a newborn but the bright 13-year-old has a knack for positivity and loves to talk sports, according to a Children's Cancer Association spokeswoman.
Ask him to name his favorite teams and he's happy to share a running list of them: "The Warriors, Utah Jazz, and the Trail Blazers, The Timbers and Thorns, oh and also Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, and Red Sox. I have four Red Sox jerseys."
Recently, Ethan had rods placed in his back. And that's when he met his Halo Buddy, a caring, trusted adult friend who aid children during their long hospital stays. Dustin was Ethan's Halo Buddy who helped him get through a number of new surgeries.
"It was nice to gain a friend in Dustin who was there with us almost every day," said Ethan's mother Amanda.
To know Ethan is to know about his love for leaving notes and messages for the people he cares about. In fact, it was his trademark at the hospital, a small act appreciated by all his doctors and nurses while he was in halo traction. In classic Ethan fashion, when he had his halo removed, he wrote everyone a thank you note.
"Ethan is a great example of how you can go through difficult things in life with a positive attitude, find the best in people, and actively transform the situation around you," said Dustin.