GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Mason Garvey is facing a battle with cancer for the second time.
The 9-year-old has been in a fight with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that attacks the muscles, since September 2018.
His family was hoping he would be in the clear after a full year of treatment until he had a relapse in October.
Leaders of his school, Pleasant Grove Elementary, and Riley Hospital for Children decided to work together to update his class on what was going on with Mason’s condition.
“Just to make sure their general knowledge of what Mason’s going through is correct,” said Megan Kinney, the hospital’s education liaison.
They also made it a fun experience with the help of Blue, the popular Colts mascot.
“Seeing the community rally around him, it’s just been great for our spirits and our hearts here at the school,” said Pleasant Grove Principal Trael Kelly.
Mason also had a friend with him, who just happens to play for the Colts: Kenny Moore II.
Moore has been in Mason’s life since cancer came around the first time and, now that it’s back, is standing by his side once again.
“Sometimes Mason feels like his peers don’t understand that this isn’t just a privilege; that he just gets to be Kenny’s friend,” Kinney said. “It does come with a price and Mason is very aware of that.”
Mason and Moore’s connection has become a strong bond. Moore went to visit Mason before his third round of chemotherapy since his relapse.
“I get teary-eyed a little bit thinking about it because it’s a brotherhood,” said Moore, a 24-year-old cornerback. “It’s family. It is genuine care and love.”
“I hear Kenny refer to Mason as like a little brother,” Kinney said.
While Mason’s classmates wait anxiously for his return, they welcomed the hospital’s Bear in the Chair program. The Riley Children’s Health teacher program offers talks in the school classrooms of many of the hospital’s chronically ill patients. During this time, Riley educators offer age-appropriate explanations of what’s going on, offering ways to support the children and their families. A bear will be left behind in the student’s chair as a way for that child to continue to be part of the classroom community.
While Mason fights, his classmates in the Center Grove district will do their best to keep him in good spirits while he tries to beat cancer for good.
“Continue on showing that smile,” Kelly said. “We love you here at Pleasant Grove and we’ll see you soon.”
Click here for more on Mason’s story.