17-year-old Stephen Decatur student shares his story of battling cancer

BERLIN, Md. – Normally, at this time of year 17-year-old, Joshua Alton, would be back in school sharing laughs with his friends.

But, life threw him a curve ball when he was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer in July.

“Joshua has Metastatic Ewing Sarcoma that started with a tumor in his spine and has spread to other areas in his body, other bones in his body,” Tara Alton, Joshua’s mom, said.

The news hit hard.

And created a whirlwind of emotions for both Joshua and his mom Tara.

“I was really scared, I was sad,” Joshua said.

“There was sadness, there was crying, there was anger, there was all these, what didn’t I see you know as a mom did I miss something,” Tara said.

Joshua and his mom have been staying at Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C.

They’ve been there for over 70 days, which has made life difficult to say the least.

“I didn’t get to hangout with my friends because we were stuck in the hospital that made me angry sometimes, a lot of tears because I didn’t get to do what I wanted to this summer,” Joshua said.

We’re told the tumor has limited Joshua’s ability to do things, like not being able to walk, play basketball, or be active with his dogs.

“It’s just hard to see when he wants to make progress, but doesn’t feel like he is and you know when he gets sad that’s when mom gets sad cause I want him to be able to do all of the things he wants to do,” Tara said.

And with school starting again, Joshua is facing the challenge of tuning in virtually.

“He’s actually a robot at school, but all last week it wasn’t working yet they had to change it out, today we were ready to go and online and the robot wasn’t charged properly,” Tara said.

But, despite all of these hardships, Joshua is surrounded by love and he’s keeping the faith alive.

“He’s a fighter and I am very inspired by his journey if anyone and everyone could support Josh’s effort in fighting his battle it would mean the world to them,” Brady Esham, Joshua’s friend, said.

“Not to think of the what-if’s, what could happen because if you start coming up with those what ifs you could easily start thinking of all the bad things that can happen,” Joshua said.

If you would like to make donations to help Joshua and his family with expenses, you can click here.

Categories: Local News, Maryland