Indiana teen dances for final time before losing leg to bone cancer

An Indiana teen danced on stage for the final time Wednesday night, knowing that his left leg will be amputated below the knee in two weeks to prevent the spread of bone cancer, the Indianapolis Star reported.

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Austin Hewitt, 17, a senior at Eastern High School in Greentown, danced at his fall show choir concert. He had beaten bone cancer once before, in June 2017, as doctors declared him free of the Ewing sarcoma that afflicted his toe.

But on June 15, an MRI revealed a tumor in above Hewitt's ankle, the Star reported.

"The shock of it doesn’t hit for a little while. Once it hits, it’s pretty devastating," Hewitt told the newspaper. "You start to do the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘whys’ and your mind starts racing with everything while trying to comprehend what’s going on.”

It is a sobering cruelty for a teen who has danced since he was a toddler.

"Austin lives and breathes dancing," his mother, Tonya Hewitt, told the Star.

"As you can imagine, we are all in shock," Hewitt’s grandmother, Linda Flodder, told the newspaper. “Why does a young man who fought so hard the first time have to fight this again?”

After chemotherapy to shrink the tumor failed, doctors told Hewitt that amputation was the only option. Reluctantly, the teen agreed.

So, Wednesday night’s performance was bittersweet.

"I'm feeling very blessed that I'm able to perform this last time before I have to wait a while to do it again," Hewitt told the Star. "I have soaked up every minute of these past two months, loving every minute."

Next week, Hewitt will begin his fourth round of chemotherapy, getting treatment five straight days.

The week after that, his leg will be amputated. For a year after that he will require chemo every three weeks for five days, the Star reported.

Hewitt’s classmates have been supportive.

"We absolutely love to have Austin and his amazing voice and energy with us and it's always super hard when he's not there," senior Meredith Middleton told the newspaper. "We're always praying for him and are so happy at the small miracles that have been taking place with him. He is a miracle in motion."

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