Carly Chapman has experienced much more medically than a 15-year-old high school student should. By taking one look at the energetic girl with a huge smile you may not realize the extent of her medical history, but you will certainly feel her optimistic approach to life and her heart of gold.

She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) on June 2, 2003. In March of 2009, five years after being released from Riley Hospital for Children, she was announced cancer free. She still visits the Riley Hospital Cancer Unit one time per year for checkups, and visits Dr. Wurtz, orthopedic surgeon at Riley Hospital, regarding her prosthetic leg. She received her final leg lengthening procedure in August of 2010 at Riley.

“This was her best surgery yet. We are so blessed. She woke up well after surgery and she is still feeling very good. Her leg has more movement than it ever has after surgery,” said her mother, Carrie Ryan.

Carly’s personality is naturally uplifting; she is very willing to extend a helping hand. As her family states, through her entire journey with cancer she did not complain - not once. In addition, her family was with her every step of the way creating a dynamic support system. Adversity united them more than they already were.

According to Carrie, the family lives by a couple mottos including: “Never give up; never surrender” and “You get up, you brush your knees off and you go on.” Those mottos have served them well.

Carly and her family maintain they will do anything they can to support Riley Hospital. They have participated in various philanthropic initiatives supporting Riley Children’s Foundation, including Traders Point Hunt Charity Horse, board meetings, “Fiesta of Hope,” and Riley radiothons. Now, Carly and her sister, Chandler, are looking to initiate Kids Caring & Sharing fundraisers at Zionsville High School. There is no doubt that Carly has a bright future ahead of her with her intelligence, sweet heart and dedication to helping others. 

 

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