Young Adult Artist and Athlete Determined to Win the Fight Against Cancer

The below interview with patient Fernando Morales was featured in the 2014 Spring/Summer issue of Dana-Farber’s Paths of Progress, now available as a free app for iPad. 

Fernando Morales, 20, treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disroders Center, says cancer has "brought out the best in him."

Fernando Morales, 20, treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disroders Center, says cancer has “brought out the best in him.”

My cancer diagnosis came right smack in the middle of high school. I was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in March 2011, my sophomore year. I had to give up sports and stop going to school while I did 14 rounds of chemotherapy and 31 rounds of radiation.

I promised myself I would fight through it. And I didn’t let myself get down when I lost my ability to play soccer. I relapsed in October 2012 and I’ve been doing treatment ever since. The dosages are lower, so I was able to attend school and stay involved.

When I came back to school, everyone lit up when they saw me. It was a good feeling, and I was glad I could go to school even if it was only for a few hours a day.

I couldn’t play, but I was named captain of my soccer team. The team came together to rally around me, and always let me feel included even when I couldn’t play.

“Winning is the only option,” is a phrase my soccer coach would always say. I think about cancer in the same way.

Growing up, I would always draw on tests and quizzes. Art has always been my best subject and I started getting into it a bit more when I couldn’t play soccer. I love photography, especially landscapes, and drawing portraits.

Painting is very therapeutic for me. It helps me calm down and get in the zone.

I’m proud of myself for finishing high school on time. I received a standing ovation at graduation and a special golden diploma, which is awarded to someone who goes through a hardship while in high school.

Cancer makes you appreciate all the little things in life. Whether it’s kids coming by to say hi, or people baking me cookies, these little things make me really happy.

I think cancer has brought out the best in me. I’d like to believe I was always this way, but I try to take advantage of everything and focus on what’s good.

I can’t imagine a better family to go through this with. My parents have sacrificed so much for me and I couldn’t thank anyone more than them.

To read more of these stories, and about the latest research advances, download the free Paths of Progress app for your iPad

Make An Appointment

For adults: 877-960-1562

Quick access: Appointments as soon as the next day for new adult patients

For children: 888-733-4662

All content in these blogs is provided by independent writers and does not represent the opinions or advice of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or its partners.

Latest Tweets

Dana-Farber @danafarber
It’s not uncommon for #cancer patients to take to a pen after a diagnosis. Peter Rooney’s taken that to another lev…
Dana-Farber @danafarber
“Cancer can be a kick in the gut, but it also can be a kick in the pants,” says #ovariancancer patient Joan Janssen…
Dana-Farber @danafarber
Study led by @DrSharonBober shows low-intensity intervention can improve overall sexual functionality & psychologic…

Republish our posts on your blog

Interested in sharing one of our stories on your blog? Feel free to republish this content! We just ask that you credit Dana-Farber, link to the original article, and refrain from making edits that change the original context. Questions? Email the editors at