You can't help but be captivated by Joshua Adler's smile. "The kid smiles all the time," Joshua's dad, Dave Adler, tells us. "He's a pretty inspirational little boy." After hearing Joshua's story, we can't help but agree.
That story began early last year, when Joshua began experiencing pain in his right leg. The pain was sometimes so severe that he'd wake up at night "screaming in agony," reports WQOW-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Doctors told Dave and his wife, Pat, that their son, just 4 years old at the time, was likely experiencing normal growing pains.
But this past July, Joshua's pain became so intense that the family made two trips to their local emergency department in one day. That prompted doctors to send Joshua by ambulance to Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus, where an MRI revealed what X-rays hadn't: a mass on Joshua's right femur above his knee. The Adlers would learn that Joshua had cancer. "It was a pretty big shock," Dave tells us of the diagnosis. Additional testing revealed that the cancer, a primitive neuroectodermal tumor, had spread to the lymph nodes behind Joshua's knee. Read the rest of Joshua's story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.