ANNA (CBSNewsTexas.com) — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and sadly, this is something 10,000 kids under the age of 15 are diagnosed with every year, according to the American Cancer Society.
A local family from Anna says when you get this diagnosis, your world stops. And now, they're sharing their story in hopes it'll bring comfort to those battling this disease.
These days, you can catch Levi Murphy shooting hoops and sorting through sports cards, but just last year, the 9-year-old's life looked a lot different when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
His mother, Lauren, said he had three tumors in his brain and up to 20 in his spine.
His father, Kevin, said it was like their world turned upside down.
"You don't know what to expect," Lauren said. "You don't know what's coming next."
But during Levi's treatment, the staff at Children's Health always made sure he had time to be a kid, even helping him complete his mission to meet all the therapy dogs.
"I had a special connection with one of them mainly, her name is Canter," Levi said. "She came in my bed a lot and she was really calm." He received beads of courage to celebrate every accomplishment.
"It's huge milestones that seem small, but they're big in our world," his mother shared.
And after two brain surgeries, radiation, and seven months of chemotherapy, Levi was finally declared cancer free last February.
"It was incredible. We got to close a chapter that we never wanted to read," Lauren said. "It was relief. It was being able to move forward."
Levi's family left with a support network that included the dozens of families they had met along the way.
"To this day, we still talk to them, they post things on Facebook and it's like they're your extended family," his mother said.
Looking back, she has this advice to share with others who are just beginning their fight: "You can get through anything as long as you fight hard and stay strong."
And Levi is the perfect example.
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