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Johnathon stays positive as he navigates through his new diagnosis!

Updated: May 25


My name is Johnathon Duke. I am 17 years old and I am live in Anchorage Alaska. I’m Tlingit from Southeast Alaska. I have an older brother Christopher, an older sister Marya, and a younger brother Eric. I enjoy playing baseball and flag football and I am active in Boy Scout Troop 210. I am currently a life scout working on my Eagle Scout. I am also attending high school at ANSEP, Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program. I currently attend classes at the University of Alaska Anchorage where I am earing both my high school diploma and my college degree at the same time. I currently have 41 college credits and will have 51 when I complete this semester. I will graduate High School in May of 2023 with about 71 college credits, well into my junior year in college.

I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in March of 2022 when I went to the emergency room in Anchorage when my knee was swollen and hurting. There is no one in the State of Alaska that treats osteosarcoma, so I was referred to Seattle Children’s Hospital for further testing, scanning, and a biopsy which all confirmed that is was in fact osteosarcoma. I have moved my life down to Seattle for the next 12 months for treatment. I’m working online to complete my classes for this semester as well as trying to plan an eagle project to earn my Eagle Scout Rank.

I am early in my treatment, by my plan is 30 weeks of Chemo, with surgery after the first 10 weeks. I must decide between amputation of my leg above the knee, reconstruction of the knee and upper leg bone with amputation below the knee, or surgery replacing the lower part of my upper leg bone. I am still being educated on the different paths that I can take, but I will have to decide before June which path I will take.

I have completed the first week of Chemo. I was admitted into the hospital for 4 days. I was sick, but not as sick as I thought I was going to be. I was nauseous for 5 days after my chemo and slept a lot. I am currently on my two weeks off before I start my new chemo for two weeks in a row. The following week the process with repeat.

I’m only 21 days from diagnosis, so my story is young. I would love to update it in a few months with more experience though the process. There are currently no trials for my diagnosis, but I am allowing them to use my left-over tissue from the biopsy to do more studies. I hope it helps. Hopefully there will be more research done soon to help more people who have osteosarcoma.

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