A true test of faith: student battles cancer

“Life isn’t about the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away.” For junior Garrett Maliska, this quote represents his new outlook on life.

This new life viewpoint for Garrett began in March of 2008, when he was first diagnosed with Spinal Cord Glioblastoma Cancer, which is a malicious tumor that attacks the central nervous system.

However, Garrett was able to overcome and beat out the cancer once, only to have it return this year.

Although he says that he felt, “Angry and overwhelmed” after learning that he was no longer in remission, he soon adopted a new philosophy for living, which is, “Don’t take anything for granted and live life to the fullest.”

For the Maliska family, their concerns were heightened again with the resurfacing of Garrett’s cancer.

“[We were] devastated and concerned about how Garrett would deal with this again,” Garrett’s mother, Leisa Maliska said.

Currently, Garrett travels two hours to Houston every other week to undergo chemotherapy treatments, and participates in physical therapy three times a week.

“[I feel[ nauseated on treatment days and am usually in bed all day,” Garrett said. “Days I don’t have to be in the hospital are good days.”

On those good days, Garrett looks forward to going out with his friends, when he feels up to it.

However, Garrett says that, “Friends and family,” are what is able to help him get him through the tough days. Also able to help him make it through the tough days are, “knowing that [the cancer] is only temporary and that God is in control,” Mrs. Maliska said.

Due to the rigorous nature of his treatment, Garrett completes his schoolwork from home. Naturally, Garrett says he misses his friends but he is not ready to come back to school just yet.

As a student at Bryan High, Garrett participates in the Golf program, in which he made the varsity team as a freshman.

One of his fondest memories in golf was, “When we won our first tournament as a team in February before I was diagnosed,” Garrett said.

Garrett continues to battle the cancer while keeping his faith and friends by his side. He feels very humbled by the support of all his classmates and the t-shirts they made last year and the bracelets that were sold this year during the pink out week.

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