IRVING, Texas - A 16-year-old from Midland celebrated a major milestone in his cancer fight.
He’s become the 3000th patient to receive a specialized type of radiation at the Texas Center for Proton Therapy in Las Colinas.
"I feel really good. I feel closer back to myself," said Walker Huggins. "Not all the way but very close to where I was."
Just over a year ago, the 16-year-old was thriving as sound director for a rodeo circuit in Midland until a diagnosis changed everything.
"I had two brain tumors and major blastoma," Walker said. "And I had a little one in my back about the size of a penny."
"Cook Children’s said he’s got two tumors: one’s a baseball, one’s the size of a ping-pong ball. We’re going to take them out," recalled father West Huggins. "We’re going to do it. There wasn’t any question."
"He’s 16 years old, and he’s never had a bad attitude. It’s just an inconvenience," said mother Keri Walker. "His strength through this entire thing has taught all of us, taught us a lot."
After two successful surgeries, Walker had his final radiation treatment Monday at the Texas Center for Proton Therapy in Las Colinas. He is the 3000th patient to receive the specialized type of radiation.
"The main difference between proton therapy and regular radiation therapy is just in the quality of the beam," said Andrew Lee, the center’s medical director. "So that means minimizing the side effects profile of the treatment not only during the treatment and shortly thereafter, but for many years to come."
Walker and his family are counting his victories and looking toward full recovery.
"Step two is done. Step one was surgery. Step two was this," West said. "Our step three is chemo, and the last step is walking out of there. We’re good,"
"Ready to get back to my normal life," Walker said.