15-Year-Old Beats Cancer, Loses Leg, and Plans for the Olympics

Before he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, Kieran Maxwell wanted to be a police officer.  That was in 2011.  Since then, he’s endured eight cycles of chemotherapy and the amputation of his leg.

But the fifteen-year-old is now officially cancer-free.  (!!)  And riding to prom in a police car, accompanied by two additional police cars and two police motorcycles.

image copyright: rossparry.co.uk

According to the Daily Mail, Kieran was completely surprised.  “I walked out of my house and all I heard was sirens.  I was like ‘oh no.’  I thought they were coming to arrest someone.  I thought, ‘this is perfect, ruining my night!’  Then they pulled up at my house, and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s me.'”  

Kieran’s teachers at Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield, England, surprised him with the police escort.  They knew that before he was diagnosed, he had planned to be a policeman.

Except that Kieran’s dream has changed– he now intends to be an Olympic gymnast.  Kieran clearly has the drive and the strength to do anything he sets his mind to.  He knows what it is to deal with adversity and fight– and beat– the odds.  All he needs is a prosthetic gymnastics leg.  So far, the Kieran Maxwell Fund has raised 54 percent of the money needed to purchase the leg, so Kieran is on his way.


Although her dream job is International Rock Star Detective, Jennifer Niven writes books. She is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Germ, which was born out of her first YA novel (and eighth book), ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES (Knopf ’15). She reads as much and as often as she can, hates naps, cold weather, and onions, but loves most everything else, including palm trees, movie popcorn, lip gloss, and boys with guitars. Follow her on twitter, Facebook, tumblr, pinterest, and her very own website, or email her at jennifer@germmagazine.com


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