An 11-year-old boy who was diagnosed with cancer last September is reaching out for the help from the Santa Clarita Valley community next month for a Team Connor Blood Drive.
Saugus resident Connor Coughenour was diagnosed Sept. 3 with Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that develops around bone, after a month of testing.
He has now completed 13 of 14 rounds of chemotherapy, 25 radiation treatments and a surgery that removed 12 centimeters of his fibula, but he needs more blood, said his mother, Christina Coughenour.
“He needs a bag or two of blood a week,” she said. “We’re trying to get his bank built up. The blood drive will be right after his last chemo treatment, and we want to make sure that he’s got blood to keep him filled.”
A Team Connor Blood Drive is being held June 9 at Parashars’ Indian Kitchen at 28112 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus, CA, 91350 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Please contact Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your appointment.
Before being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, Connor attended James Foster Elementary in Saugus, played football for the Blackhawks team for Santa Clarita Valley Athletic Association Warrior Football. He also played baseball for Hart PONY Baseball and Santa Clarita Legends.
In August, his family noticed there was something wrong with his leg.
“He had a lump in his leg that we thought was just muscle. He’s a catcher who represented Hart Pony field,” said Coughenour. “His doctor agreed it was just muscle. We took him to a different doctor who said that’s it was not muscle, that it was not normal.”
The lump ended up fracturing Connor’s leg. He was playing baseball and football on a fracture, she said.
Connor is now being hospital homeschooled while he finishes up treatment. After his last round of chemo, he will wait about three weeks to take scans to make sure the cancer is gone, Coughenour said.
His next step is to start physical therapy, she said. He hopes to start playing baseball again soon.
“We’re actually booked for a tournament in July. and we’re hoping he’ll play with his team but he might be finishing his last scans,” Coughenour said. “He’s come so far. I was just reflecting on when he was diagnosed, they told me they would take his leg. He had no movement in his leg but now, he’s got complete movement and feeling in his leg.
“I didn’t tell him about the (need for) amputation even after his surgery. He got down on a couple things and then I told him look it could have been so much worse.”
Connor’s mom says he is never negative and always remains positive.
“On his hospital wall he writes, Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’” she said. A player threw him a ball at a Lancaster JetHawks game and it had that verse on it.”
“We’re just so grateful and truly, truly humble by the support we’ve received from the community,” Coughenour said. “It brings tears to my eyes. I get messages from people who don’t know my son or me and just care so much about him.”