After his 15-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that afflicts children and adolescents, Engels Tang decided to contribute to OSI on a regular basis.
Like any parents, when Marie and Engels Tang’s 15-year-old son, Andrew, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, they went into overdrive to learn about this rare form of bone cancer that afflicts children and adolescents. Andrew, who had been hurt while playing basketball, was told to get an MRI, thinking he had injured his MCL.
The MRI was scheduled on a day that Engels, who has worked for Toyota for nearly 20 years, was in Nashville for business.
“Marie called because the original diagnosis was osteosarcoma,” Engels recalls. “We’d never heard the term before. We knew nothing about it, just that it was cancer.”
Engels immediately flew to his home in Prosper, Texas, in the Plano-Dallas area.
“That was a Monday, and I did research all night,” he says, recalling how he tried to learn everything he could about the disease. His search led him to
“We’d never heard the term before. We knew nothing about it, just that it was cancer.”
the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and, within a week, Andrew started treatment there. Two months later, he had limb-sparing surgery — an alternative to amputation — on his right femur, for which he now has a prosthesis.
Andrew at his first md anderson appointment
A Determination to Help Others
After his surgery, Andrew quickly got back to his life as an active teenager, but Engels was determined to help other children and their families who have been or may become affected by osteosarcoma in the future.
“After the diagnosis and after all the treatment, the next thing I wanted to do was to give back to the organization that actually helps people,” he says, “because there’s a lack of funding. I know osteosarcoma is very rare, maybe 800 to 1,000 cases a year, so when I looked at where I could help, I found OSI.”
Engels hopes his contributions will help fund research and treatment, and possibly create screening tests, “because most of us don’t discover until very last minute” that their child has osteosarcoma. He still does a lot of research and realizes the disease “isn’t on top of anyone’s radar,” he says, “so we don’t get governmental funding. And that’s why I’m going to do my part and donate.”
Engels encourages others to look into similar programs like the Toyota4Good matching gifts plan at their place of employment, as many of them exist and are open to partnerships.
If you would like to support OSI or become a monthly donor like Engels and Andrew, please learn more by clicking the button below.