Oil City Senior Facing Cancer Battle

| April 12, 2019

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – While most high school seniors are worrying about SAT scores and prom dates, Oil City High School senior Colton Sutley is worrying about chemotherapy and possible surgery.

In many ways, Colton Sutley is the picture of the all American high school senior: he loves going to school sporting events and sports in general, spending time with his parents, family, and friends. Colton also likes to hunt and fish and loves history.

Last year, Colton decided to enlist in the United States Marines and was scheduled to ship to boot camp on June 24, after graduating high school, but then something changed.

Around Christmas last year, Colton began to complain to his parents that his leg was swollen. He saw his doctor in January who first believed Colton had simply overworked the muscles from Marine workouts; however, the problem didn’t seem to be abating.

Finally, Colton was transferred to an Orthopedic Surgery Specialist in Franklin who scheduled an MRI to get a better understanding of what was causing the swelling.

Within fifteen minutes of the MRI coming back, the doctor’s office had already scheduled an appointment with a cancer doctor at Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh for the following day. They found a tumor in Colton’s leg but were unable to be certain if it was a cancerous tumor or a fatty tumor.

On February 20, Colton and his parents, Helen and Bobby, traveled to Pittsburgh, where they were told he most likely had Ewing Sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones, but he would need to have a biopsy done the following day to be certain.

The results of the biopsy came back on February 26 and confirmed the diagnosis. The doctors also discovered that not only was the tumor on his leg cancerous but the cancer was also in the bone, in his lymph nodes, and in three small spots on his lungs.

According to his mother, Helen, Colton handled the news remarkably well.

“He did a lot better than me and his dad did,” Helen told exploreVenango.com. “Any parent going through this, it’s going to hit them like a ton of bricks. But Colton is just such a remarkable kid and puts everyone else before himself. He’s handled it so well it’s just unreal.”

Since his diagnosis, Colton has begun what will be a total of twelve weeks of chemotherapy treatments at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

“He’s doing really good with the chemo treatments. The only thing is he just gets tired and has a bit of back pain, but overall he’s done really well,” Helen said.

Following the treatments, the doctors will also be considering surgery to remove the tumor, part of the bone, and the lymph nodes around the tumor. Then, he will go on to an additional sixteen weeks of chemo treatments.

While Colton’s health is the family’s first concern when it comes to cancer treatments, finances are a concern as well. The family has received some help, as they were one of the beneficiaries for the Oil City vs. Cancer event held in March. However, Colton’s cousin, Jayla Perry, has also organized a Spaghetti Benefit Dinner for Colton to help support the family.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 13, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (or until sold out) at the Oil City Senior High cafeteria. The cost is $7.00 per person. Children five and under eat for free. The event will also include a Chinese auction, a 50/50, and will have car decals and #ColtonStrong bracelets for $5 each.

“We just want to say thanks to everyone for their prayers and support,” Helen said. “We appreciate that we have a strong community and a strong church backing us up as well as a lot of support from family and friends.”


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