A cancer survivor at age 9

In celebration of Living Proof week, Insight honors cancer survivors with daily posts about survivorship.

To look at 9-year-old baseball player and Lego champion Charlie Rider, you’d never guess he’d had cancer for nearly half his life.

When he was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4, his mother, Caroline, began sending e-mail updates to her family friends and family, never dreaming that the updates would continue for four more years.

Charlie Rider On having your 4-year-old child diagnosed with cancer:

“During the first few weeks, every time a doctor or nurse came in the room I really believed that they were going to say, ‘We are so sorry. There has been a huge mistake. Your child is perfectly healthy and you are free to go.'”

On being cured:

“How do you thank the medical professionals who saved your child’s life? We have lived under the watchful eyes of some of the best doctors and nurses in the world. Moving away from that security is a scary thing. And there is an ever-so-slim chance of relapse.”

On learning the cancer has come back:

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we write to tell you our Charlie’s leukemia has returned.”

On surviving:

“I am thrilled to report that Charlie is doing GREAT! To look at him you would never know the hell he has been through. He is happy, healthy, smart, and really enjoying life. He loves school, and friends, and baseball, and everything that 8-year-old boys are supposed to love.”

Read more from Caroline and watch videos on the Rider family’s cancer experience.