From Cancer Patient to Model
Today he is a high school graduate, a model, and a college athlete.
A few years ago, Cade Thompson was focused on getting through cancer treatment in the midst of a global pandemic.
Cade was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when he was 15 years old. His treatment at Riley Children’s Health included 29 rounds of chemotherapy and a 15-hour surgery to remove a tumor in his left leg.
This past May, he signed a contract to pursue modeling and acting. Earlier this month, he was offered a position on Indiana Wesleyan University’s football team.
In honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, we asked Cade and his family to reflect on their Riley journey.
What does being a Riley kid mean to you?
Riley became a second home to me. My doctors and nurses were my family – a family that I will remain close to for the rest of my life.
Are there any particular stories from your time at Riley that stand out to you?
Charon Thompson, Cade’s mom: Around Thanksgiving in 2020, everyone in our immediate family came down with COVID. Cade needed to have chemotherapy. Dr. Ferguson kept him at Riley, and Cade underwent three rounds of chemo alone because we were all so sick. Dr. Ferguson and his staff rotated on their days off and took turns visiting with Cade so he wouldn’t be truly alone. They would sit with him, play games with him, and just keep him company because we couldn’t.
Tell us about your proudest accomplishment since your time at Riley.
I’m able to play college football and be a model.
What would you say to encourage someone who was considering a donation to the Riley Cancer Center?
Charon: The need is so much deeper than finding cures. It’s about being able to continue recruiting, developing, and supporting the talented, compassionate professionals on the Riley staff. They make the hospital what it is.