Garrison, thriving as an athlete after cancer



Garrison is a multi-talented athlete and Paralympic hopeful who has overcome great odds.

As an avid cyclist, skier, soccer player, and track and field champion, Garrison was always highly athletic.  But in 2005, he began to experience pain in his left knee. They went to the doctor to see what could be causing the pain, and an X-ray revealed a growth on his knee. It was osteosarcoma -- a cancerous bone tumor.

Doctors removed the tumor and Garrison's lower leg

Three months after his diagnosis, Garrison underwent surgery to remove the tumor. Doctors at Children’s Colorado performed a Van Ness Rotationplasty -- a procedure in which Garrison’s lower leg was amputated, rotated and reattached. His ankle joint would now function as his knee joint, allowing him to run, jump, and maintain the best quality of life possible.

“Garrison’s doctors spoke with him at his level about his plan for care, so he was able to understand what was happening,” said Garrison’s dad, Chris. “We could not have been more pleased with the care that his doctors provided.”

Thriving after cancer

Garrison's cancer is now in remission, and the use of a prosthetic leg helps him to continue to chase his dreams. He hopes to be selected for the USA Track and Field team and compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He is a national record holder in his age group and disability classes in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints, discus, shot put, javelin, long jump, high jump and pentathlon.

Garrison visits Children’s Colorado regularly to share his inspiring story with other children who are facing difficult battles with cancer and amputation. Garrison encourages others to “be the best you can be with what you are given and don't ever give up on chasing your dreams.”

Stay in touch with Children’s Colorado. Sign up for eNews.