Markus, age 13: What started as knee pain turned into a nightmare for Markus and his family. After an X-ray revealed a mass in his leg, Markus was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a rare form of bone cancer. His family came to Children’s Colorado for a second opinion and immediately felt reassured that they would get the best care. To treat the cancer, doctors had to remove Markus’ leg at the knee. Markus opted to undergo a Van Nes Rotationplasty, a groundbreaking procedure that replaces the knee with the ankle joint from the amputated limb, which allows patients to retain more mobility. Markus just finished his last round of chemotherapy. He will soon be fitted with a new prosthetic leg, and he’s looking forward to being able to run, jump and even play flag football again. He is well known at Children’s Colorado for his infectious positive attitude and ability to make his nurses laugh.

“Courage is… keeping on going even when you’re sick and don’t feel well and think, ‘why am I still doing this?”