From left, Noah Holloway, 18; Adyson Holloway, 10; father Thomas; and mother Robyn take a family photo by the water. Noah was recently diagnosed with a rare bone cancer and is receiving treatment.

From left, Noah Holloway, 18; Adyson Holloway, 10; father Thomas; and mother Robyn take a family photo by the water. Noah was recently diagnosed with a rare bone cancer and is receiving treatment.

Photo provided by the Holloway family


Fundraiser set for Sept. 29 for teen battling cancer

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published August 13, 2018

 Noah is embraced by Adyson at the hospital.

Noah is embraced by Adyson at the hospital.

Photo provided by the Holloway family

 Adyson shows her appreciations toward her big brother.

Adyson shows her appreciations toward her big brother.

Photo provided by the Holloway family

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/FRASER — Noah Holloway thought he was just suffering from a lingering baseball injury. Months later, the prognosis was worse than he and his family thought.

Holloway, 18, lives in Clinton Township with his 10-year-old sister, Adyson; his mother, Robyn; and his father, Thomas, a Clinton Township Police Department detective and a liaison at Chippewa Valley Schools. 

Thomas said Noah, who attended Lakeview High School in St. Clair Shores, was experiencing hip and leg pain off and on throughout his last baseball season. Toward the end of the summer of 2017, the family doctor recommended physical therapy prior to Noah starting his freshman year at Central Michigan University.

“One day, I was catching and moved to block a pitch and just felt a sharp strain in my leg,” Noah said. “It made it hard to walk for a week and went away, so I thought I’d just strained it, but then it kept recurring and I knew something was wrong.”

A “numbers guy,” he was focused on his academics and his career trajectory in finance and accounting fields. But after the first half of his first school year, the pain became consistent.

“It was kind of deceptive as to the early symptoms,” Thomas said. “It would come for two weeks and then disappear for a month.”

An MRI later led to a diagnosis of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, essentially in connection with micro fractures in his joints. He went back to school that January, but when he returned home this past May, he could barely walk.

Another MRI discovered a 9-centimeter-wide tumor in Noah’s hip, where the femur connects to the bone. The tumor fractured the femur, causing intense pain. Noah was admitted to Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. In the third week of June, he had a biopsy and had surgery on the bones, the soft tissue and the tumor itself.

His diagnosis was altered to Ewing sarcoma — a rare type of cancer that most often begins in the bones. It’s most common in teenagers and young adults, with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital saying that about 200 children and young adults nationally are affected each year.

“I didn’t even know what a sarcoma meant,” Thomas said. “It was pretty devastating. (Noah) had plans to study at Central Michigan, and maybe overseas. Overnight, everything turned gray and we had to cancel everything and refocus on things you never had to refocus on before.”

Even throughout the on-and-off streaks of pain, Noah flourished at the university level. He made the dean’s list both semesters, making new friends and basking in the college experience. He still has aspirations to become a chief financial officer someday.

He, like his father, didn’t know what Ewing sarcoma was.

“My parents and sister have been huge throughout this journey so far and have made a big difference in my demeanor and strength throughout. … Now that I know what (Ewing sarcoma) is and where I am at with it, it doesn’t really phase me mentally,” Noah said. “I try to do everything just about the same as usual, and I’m the same guy.

“I’m just more determined and actually feel more strong and confident knowing how I’m handling the situation. More strong mentally, not physically, as it has caused a lot of fatigue and weakness.”

Every two weeks, Noah is admitted to the hospital for inpatient chemotherapy. He gets blood drawn twice per week, and radiation will begin around week 14.

Thomas called it an “odd, grueling regimen,” adding that his son is a young and strong fighter who can beat cancer. Others are hoping for the same outcome.

A GoFundMe page was created July 11 by Robyn and her sister, with an initial goal of raising $35,000 for items like family expenses, hospital co-pays and deductibles, hospital stays and traveling to meet with doctors. As of Aug. 10, $38,000 was raised, while the end goal keeps increasing.

Even the Detroit Tigers reached out to the baseball-loving family to offer free tickets to a game.

“We’re not quite sure how long the road is gonna be, and we try to prepare for all the incidentals and stuff insurance doesn’t pay, and all the crazy expenses with dealing with the unknown. … It’s all about Noah and keeping him focused,” Thomas said. “When (the diagnosis) first happened, he was worried about the family and not himself.”

Noah’s reaction to all the money being donated is one of gratitude: “I can’t put the true feeling into words,” he said. 

On Sept. 29, Clinton Township’s Police and Fire departments will face off from 6 to 9 p.m. at Fraser Hockeyland, 34400 Utica Road in Fraser, to raise more funds for Holloway’s cause. Tickets will cost $10. Visit www.fraserhockeyland.com for more details.

To donate directly, visit www.gofundme.com/cvyc84-help-noah-kick-ewing039s-sarcoma.

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