Central Texas teen thankful for second chance at life after battling cancer as toddler

Hays

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — During this holiday in which we give thanks, one Central Texas family is thankful for a young life that overcame cancer, and the bond a father and son now share.

The lessons we learn in life help shape who we are, and the Kaspars know all about that.

Cole helps his father Nathan work on a vintage truck. (Photo courtesy of the Kaspar family)

“I have learned a lot about my dad, I have learned about him as a person about mechanical and electrical stuff,” said Cole Kaspar.

For Cole, spending time with his dad Nathan working on his vintage truck is a reminder that not everything is easy.

“Big project for sure,” Cole said.

“You never really know what you are planning for in life or which way roads are going to take you,” Nathan said.

Roads that, at times, have been rocky for the family.

“There is nothing more devastating for a family than to hear that your young child, son has cancer,” Nathan said.

Cole was just two years old when the Kaspars got the news. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, and given a 30% chance to survive.

Cole after one of his early cancer treatments. (Photo courtesy of the Kaspar family)

His next stop was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for treatment.

“The staff at St. Jude is really really positive,” Cole said. “They make sure you are always on the bright side and you are never looking on the dark side.”

That positive attitude served Cole through countless procedures and long stays in the hospital.

“Being able to come back from that almost completely normal, that is a real blessing and I am thankful for it every day,” Cole said.

Cole wrestles for Dripping Springs High School. (Photo courtesy of the Kaspar family)

Now cancer-free, this high school wrestler grapples with challenges more fitting for a kid his age.

“I went against the number one guy in my weight class a few times and I was told I would lose, but I said we don’t know until we know do we?” Cole said.

They are lessons Cole has learned as he gets older, but also lessons he has learned from Dad.

“Things don’t always bolt right up and you can’t just throw up your hands and quit when they don’t go as you thought they would,” Nathan said.

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