We first met Ben (second from left) last year at our RCF night at the Ranger Game. Like most high school seniors, Ben is looking forward to graduation and a bright future. Unlike most, however, he has spent his last half of high school battling metastatic Papillary thyroid cancer.
As an involved student at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy, Ben was determined to remain active with the soccer team and the ROTC/Academic Team Raiders program.
Although his cancer has prohibited him from being able to do all of the things he loves, he says his school has been very understanding and helpful, accommodating where possible.
He has also continued his monthly volunteer work with Feed the Homeless, an organization he’s been helping since the 6th grade. Staying focused on his goals has been a source of strength.
“I’m thankful that despite all he’s going through, he doesn’t get down on himself, keeps a smile on his face and still has a giving heart. He doesn’t realize it but he is truly a blessing to others.”– Rachel Gallegos, Ben’s mother
With senior year winding down, Ben had his third round of radiation, sonograms and scans, yet managed to attend his Senior Military Ball. After graduation on June 2nd, Ben will enlist in the United States Army and will leave for basic training in July.
Ben said one of his teachers told him once, “No matter what will hit, you have to push back. Life will get tough, but you have to always bounce back.” Those words have become his personal mantra throughout treatment and life.