DETROIT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Five-year-old Kellan Tilton was born with cancer. Against all odds, he has truly come out on top and is now sharing his story in the hopes of raising awareness.
NEWS CENTER first introduced you to Kellan back in 2015, when Make-A-Wish granted his wish for path so that he could get around his backyard came true.
Now two years later, he and his family are continuing to focus on the positive things. Kellan’s mother, Elizabeth Tilton, said he has become comfortable explaining the question he gets on a regular-basis: “What happened?”
"Well when I was a baby I had a tumor on my spine and some bad things,” Kellan said.
He was born with Neuroblastoma. After intensive surgery to remove the tumor from his spine and aggressive chemotherapy, the 5-year-old is cancer-free. However, it left him permanently paralyzed.
"Sometimes my dad can push me so high it looks like my swing goes over the roof,” Kellan said as his father, Dan, pushed him on the adaptive swing in their backyard.
His parents have done everything in their power to allow Kellan to live life to the fullest. He loves sports. From doing fast tricks in his wheelchair, to fishing and even skiing, Kellan does more than most five-year-olds.
"He's a handful!” Elizabeth said.
He and his mom now travel to school and charity events for St. Baldrick’s to raise awareness. The pair even went to Washington D.C. to meet with the Maine delegation about more research for childhood cancer earlier this year.
"I don't want another mom to go through what we've gone through,” Elizabeth said as she wiped away tears, “And it shouldn't happen. We should know more."
She said the family has always had a positive mindset when it comes to Kellan’s situation. They are currently renovating a large part of their house to make a fully-accessible bedroom and bathroom for him.
"We from the very beginning decided we're not going to say ‘can't’ in our house. It will be ‘can’ or ‘We'll figure out a way.’"
She hopes working through activism will help ensure that Kellan can learn to fight for himself and accomplish whatever he sets out to do.
“If I teach him young to do that and have a voice, then I can create a space where he’s comfortable to that,” she said.
You can learn more about Kellan's partnership with St. Baldrick’s Foundation here.