Sports - Athlete Of The Week

Jan 14, 2014 8:00 PM by Jordan Mason

Athlete of the Week has overcome cancer twice and amputated leg

Our latest Loaf 'N Jug Aquafina Athlete of the Week has overcome more in her life than just about anybody you'll ever meet.

This is Candace Harmon of the Pueblo West High School swim team. Her friends call her Candy. Amazingly, she swims with only one leg! Here's why: when Candy was ten years old, she was diagnosed with bone cancer in her left leg. After an amputation and 18 rounds of chemotherapy, she was cancer free. Her foot was actually turned around to help mobility with a procedure called Rotationplasty. But then, three years later, the cancer had spread and part of her left lung was removed.

Now, four years after that, the 18-year old is cancer free again and she says swimming is part of what keeps her active. She remembers how far she's come since the initial cancer diagnosis.

"I remember looking at my parents and seeing this look on their faces and tears rolling down their face," said Candy. "I was like, it can't be good. It can't be something that's going to help me. At that point, I really knew I was going to have to be strong and tough. I was really going to have to work through this."

We asked her, "Do you think you inspire your teammates?"

They tell me I do," said Candy. "I don't try to. They all tell me I do."

Before the cancer, Candy used to play just about every sport. She only picked up swimming last season.

She says she'd love to work at Denver Children's Hospital some day as a licensed child life specialist, because they impacted her life and that's something she hopes to do in return.

 

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