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Photo of Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program Participant DylanAt two months old, most children are learning to smile at their parents and beginning to react to sounds. At two months old, Dylan Shippey was being prepped for his first surgery.

When Dylan was a month old, he was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, a cancer that starts in the retina, the very back part of the eye. During the course of his treatment, Dylan had more than 20 surgeries, chemotherapy and a variety of other treatments.

Fast forward to 2020, Dylan has been in remission for almost 16 years, graduated high school, earned a Certified Nursing Assistant certificate and has dreams of working at a children’s hospital.

“I want to show kids and adults that there is hope and that they can be strong,” explains Dylan. “It might not look like it [at the time], but there is always hope and faith on the horizon – you just have to look at the right angle and you will see.”

For those going through similar experiences as Dylan, he has some words of advice:

“I would tell the kids who are going through cancer treatment, don't give in! You are going through something that most people have a hard time dealing with. Use your power to fight and live on! FIGHT! Never surrender.”