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Traquan, 16

Tri-Cities | Services: Hematology/Oncology

Treated with Kindness

Three years ago, Traquan Dunn was playing with some friends when he had a sudden, sharp pain in his right leg. His mother, Janet, took him to the emergency room near their home in Petersburg and was “blown away” when the doctor said he thought it might be bone cancer. The oncology team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) confirmed that Traquan had an osteosarcoma, and they soon began a ten-week course of chemotherapy.

In spite of the chemotherapy, the tumor continued to grow, and Traquan was confronted with the news that his leg would have to be amputated.

“It was really hard, but their kindness stood out,” Traquan said of the doctors and nurses at CHoR. “They were really nice, and they talked to me when I needed it. They treated me like I was one of them.”

Following the amputation, Traquan went through several additional rounds of chemo as well as two surgeries to remove cancerous nodules on his lungs over the course of several years. Today, his most recent CT scans are clean, and he was able to return to school just after he turned 16 and finish his freshman year, where he particularly enjoys math. Traquan was also happy to be able to continue playing basketball even after losing his leg. He learned to play with and without his prosthesis and said simply, “I just try my best to keep up on the court.”

Reflecting on a difficult chapter in their lives, Janet said, “It was hard meeting so many new, nice people at the hospital when we were going through something so bad, but we loved them. They were so good about getting Traquan to open up. They did anything to make him smile.”


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