A 19-year-old cancer survivor has inspired millions of viewers with his emotional response on the day he got to ring the cancer-free bell at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
Matt Driscoll was 16 years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The then-high school sophomore spent the next three-and-a-half years going through hundreds of rounds of chemotherapy, he told “Good Morning America.”
“Never in a million years did I expect to be dealt with this card,” Driscoll said.
Prior to his diagnosis, Driscoll lived a vibrant and athletic lifestyle, active in school sports.
“I played basketball and football my entire life and was in great shape. I didn’t know how to accept it,” he said.
But the teen forged ahead with a positive attitude and a team of supportive family and friends, and in January, he walked down a familiar hospital hallway to ring a shiny golden bell, signifying the end of his battle with cancer.
“When I walked through the hallway, I was getting flashbacks of what I been through over the last three-and-a-half years,” Driscoll told GMA.
“To finally been done with it was overwhelming — that was, without a doubt, the happiest day of my life.”
Friends, family and medical staff lined the hallway as a visibly emotional Driscoll marched up to the bell and rang it, long and loud tones resonating through the air.
Driscoll cried, his supporters cheered, and millions of viewers — an estimated 3.8 million, according to an Akron Children’s Hospital Facebook post — have since been inspired.
Driscoll’s doctors have every reason to believe that the teenager’s future will be bright.
“Matt will lead a happy life thanks to some help from his doctors at Akron Children’s Hospital, and support from friends and family,” the children’s hospital told GMA.
While the cancer diagnosis was initially difficult for Driscoll to accept, the teen learned that the way a person responds to difficultly is more important than the difficulty itself.
“Ten percent is what happens to you, and 90 percent is how you react to it,” the wise teenager said.
Driscoll is now pursuing a business degree at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, GMA reported.
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