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Canyon was diagnosed on Thurs., Aug. 23rd with a rare form of Soft Tissue Sarcoma. His diagnosis was confirmed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN on Fri., Aug. 31st as incurable terminal Stage 4 Soft Tissue Sarcoma - Synovial that began in his left calf and has spread to his lung and bone . We were told by the doctors at the Mayo Clinic that this soft tissue sarcoma is rare in itself and that there are 50 different types of soft tissue sarcoma, Canyon's being Synovial and that there is a 1% chance of a person being diagnosed with this sarcoma.
As we mentioned, this all began on Aug. 23rd but looking back, the pieces of the puzzle come together. Even though this is a rare form of cancer it is commonly undetected in young male athletes. Canyon noticed a small bump on his left calf during the spring of his freshmen year at BVU but thought little of it and there was no pain. In the fall of his sophomore basketball season the bump on his calf reappeared and gave him some discomfort that any athlete would play through. The athletic trainers at his school worked with him to treat what was thought to be a run of the mill sports injury and the area in his calf decreased with physical therapy. Canyon continued to play and finish his season not really thinking much of it because it was improving with the physical therapy. Jump to this past June as he and his teammates played summer basketball, the bump resurfaced with some pain/discomfort and again thinking it was due to basketball he sought physical therapy here locally and again the area on his leg went down. He did experience some minor chest pain but attributed it to rough defensive basketball underneath the basket. In addition, in the most recent weeks in August he began to experience some back discomfort while trying to sleep.
Jump to Aug. 23rd, we noticed that the lump on his leg had returned significantly and what seemed to be out of the blue with no basketball happening. His mom asked him to please let her make an appointment with the family Doctor to "just get it checked out before heading back to BVU for the fall" , which is where this journey all began. Canyon had a normal 11 am doctor's visit scheduled for Aug. 23rd and Dr. Matthew Herrmann was concerned with the size of the lump, along with the mention of Canyon's minor chest and back discomfort. He then jumped into action and ordered X-rays and blood tests then made additional appointments for yet that day of a CT scan and MRI. By the end of the day Canyon and his parents were back in the same 11 am doctors office receiving the life changing shock of their lives news.