On Tuesday evening, Cory Burke sat along the first base line at McCoy Stadium with friends, watching a baseball game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Buffalo Bisons. While this wasn’t the first time Cory took in his favorite game at the park, it was the first time since learning that after an 11-month battle with cancer, he was finally cancer free.
The Burke family received the good news from Cory’s doctor on Monday, Aug. 19 when Cory’s mother Sue took a phone call.
“They said he was completely clear of cancer cells,” she said. “It was very emotional. I was crying on the phone. It was wonderful news.”
As she was talking to the doctor, she said Cory come into the room.
“I gave him a thumb’s up.”
It was nearly a year since the 13 year-old was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare, often deadly form of bone cancer. Ever since the diagnosis, the Bristol family was embraced by countless people throughout the East Bay, including the Lincoln little league team.
“I don’t think we ever imagined we’d get that amount of support. The town was wonderful. People from Lincoln, Cranston and across the country offered support,” Ms. Burke said.
In the early months of the diagnosis, Ms. Burke said although it was difficult to see her son in pain, Cory always maintained a positive attitude.
“The pain in the beginning was very, very bad. He lost weight and was sick. The doctors were amazed at how he took everything in stride. His positive attitude helped us get through it,” she said.
After the last round of tests, doctors noticed that the tumors had shrunk and were responding well to the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The good news came after Cory went in for tests that have become routine for him – full body MRI and a PET scan – on Friday, Aug. 16.
Since learning the news, the support has turned into celebrations.
“People have been calling, there are messages on Facebook. It’s been quite an experience. We’ll be having a party. Now we have something to celebrate,” she said.
Now that Cory is cancer free, Ms. Burke said that he will go back to the doctor where they will discuss follow-up procedures to ensure it doesn’t return. Once he gets the IV port removed from his chest, he can begin to resume his activities.
“He’ll be back in school next week,” Ms. Burke said. “And I’m sure he’ll be playing baseball in the spring.”