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BEHIND THE SCENES: Barrie teen with cancer says 'Just have fun'

BarrieToday reporter Nikki Cole takes us behind the scenes


Kevin Chao is a 15-year-old student at Innisdale Secondary School in Barrie who was diagnosed with Stage 4 osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that starts in the cells that form bones, in December 2021. Unlike his classmates, Kevin spends his days in a hospital bed in his family's living room, after undergoing several rounds of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the cancer.
According to his mother, Melissa Brown, doctors said the tumour was too large and had progressed too much to be removed surgically. Instead, the treatment is an attempt to ease the pain. Before his diagnosis, Kevin loved playing video games and hanging out with friends. His family enjoyed camping, hiking, and traveling together. Kevin was also diagnosed with an eye condition that would have made him blind by the time he was 30. Kevin and his mother have refused to take anything for granted since his diagnosis, keeping a positive attitude and smiling despite the challenges ahead.
Although his prognosis is not expected to improve, the support of friends, family, and strangers is helping them cope. They have learned not to hold off on doing the things that make them happy and to do them while they still can. Kevin is hooked up to a variety of different tubes, but he has a video-game system close by, as well as a microphone to create songs when creativity strikes. He has created quite a following on TikTok over the last few months, sharing his music as well as his cancer journey.
Video Summary:

A 15 year old Barrie teen has faced more challenges in his short life than any teen should have to endure. Nikki Cole from BarrieToday is here to share the story of Kevin Chao, who is battling stage 4 bone cancer and has a poor prognosis. Kevin had a skateboarding accident in the summer of 2021 and went to the hospital for his injuries, but they said he was fine. However, over the next few months, he was still in a lot of pain, and his leg eventually "blew up," leading to his diagnosis with terminal osteosarcoma. Kevin and his family are trying to come to terms with the diagnosis and live their lives as fully as possible.

Despite facing a terminal illness and being in a lot of pain, Kevin has managed to stay positive. He has continued pursuing his passions for music and gaming, even creating TikTok videos to connect with a worldwide community. Kevin's school, friends, family, and community have rallied behind him, holding charity events in his honor and trying to make his time as special as possible.

It's inspiring to see how Kevin and his family have remained resilient in the face of such adversity. Although the challenges they are facing are unimaginable, they are refusing to let it stop them from living their lives to the fullest.