Kempner: Teenage cancer survivor helping others battling cancer
A Central Texas family is giving back to other families battling childhood cancer. They are doing everything they can to make sure these families know there is hope.
Declan Davenport is just like any other teenager. As a freshman in high school, the teen enjoys playing golf. But, life hasn't always been this easy.
Years ago, Declan -- then 13 years old -- was fighting one of his toughest battles.
"In July of 2016, I was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. I went through 17 rounds of high dose chemotherapy and I had 41 rounds of radiation to my left pelvis," he said.
The diagnosis that he had a form of pediatric cancer was something his parents never imagined.
"It’s almost like I lost all hope. I thought I could empathize with people who have cancer or had cancer. But, I tell ya, until it happens to you or your family, it’s just unexplainable," said Declan's father, William.
Declan recently finished his cancer treatments at MD Anderson in Houston.
To help other families battling childhood cancer, his family is now paying it forward.
Through their alpaca farm, they are able to sell items such as alpaca balls -- which serves as a natural replacement for dryer sheets. The wool for the various products comes from shearing the alpacas.
The family also has their studio barn, which is located on the farm, listed on Airbnb.
Recently, the family held a painting party with the six alpacas on full display. All of the proceeds from the "Alpaca My Bags Artillery Creek Alpacas and Farm" going to help those families in Houston.
”We cater a meal for all the families on the floor. That’s usually 60 to 70 people," said Kati, Declan's mother. "If there is anything left over, we also feed the nurses and other ancillary staff such as housekeeping.”
The Davenport family travel to Houston every 90 days for routine scans. Declan's journey inspiring others with a message of hope.
”There was a point where it seemed like we had none. The way he struggled and fought through it was quite inspiring to me. So, if we can be an example to other families, we are going to do it," William said.
A sense of normalcy finally returning for the teen.
"Your perception of life just changes. I find it hard to differentiate me before I had cancer and me after. I’ve hit all the milestones," Declan said. "I’m glad to say that normality was the light at the end of the tunnel and now I have that.”