Stories of progress, inspiration, and information in overcoming osteosarcoma.

Carlos Garcia, two-time osteosarcoma survivor, is pictured on a hiking trail with gorgeous natural scenery behind him. He is using a cane on both arms, and you can see that his left leg has been amputated right below the hip.

Osteosarcoma Survivors on Life After Cancer

What happens when the treatments are over and doctor visits become less frequent? Survivors share their experiences with life after cancer.

For osteosarcoma patients, a final chemotherapy infusion, a last physical therapy appointment, or a cancer-free scan is a long-awaited moment.

While many find relief and happiness moving into this new stage of their lives, it can also be a difficult transition into the “new normal” of life after cancer. It is common for cancer survivors to feel anxiety and worry that the cancer will come back, especially when a routine scan in coming up.

Osteosarcoma survivors should be prepared to let themselves feel a range of emotions as the time between doctor’s appointments gets farther and farther apart and you begin to get to know the post-cancer version of you. Some osteosarcoma survivors reflect on their life after cancer below.

Determined to Fly

At 28, Carly Crockett was flying as a commercial airline pilot until an osteosarcoma diagnosis threatened to take her career — and her life.

After six rounds of chemotherapy and an 11-hour surgery to remove the tumor, she was determined to fly again. Her determination caught the attention of Delta Airlines.

Today, Carly teaches Airbus A320 procedures to pilots at Delta, a dream job. While she has not started flying again herself, she is committed to gaining back her strength and making it a reality. And she has reason to be optimistic — her last two scans have come back clear of cancer!

“I could not have gotten through this experience without my family and friends, my amazing surgeons and medical team, and my new work family at Delta,” says Carly. “The people around me lifted me up.”

More of What Matters

Talgat Omurov was also 28 when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. His diagnosis made him a more spiritual person and gave him a new perspective on life. Two years later, at age 30, he was able to ring the bell to celebrate the end of his final round of chemotherapy. He shares his survivor journey on Instagram and is taking time to do more of the things he loves, like traveling.

“I am focused on enjoying life because I may not live long,” says Talgat. “I am trying not to take things for granted and to just live every day to the fullest.”

A Grandmother’s Wisdom

Airin Loran Davis, from Maui, Hawaii, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her knee at age 15, and she underwent limb salvage surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 1987. She recalls that receiving support from her loved ones and having confidence in her care team are what got her through her cancer journey. While Airin Loran has been in remission since 1990, she still deals with anxiety and some chronic pain.

Today, she is a mother of two and grandmother of five, and she treasures each day as a gift. She shares her story to inspire hope in others facing cancer.

“I am extremely blessed and know how fragile life can be.”  says Airin Loran. “I honor my experience with cancer and I’m truly grateful that I came out of it with strength and grace.”

Airin Loran encourages other survivors to remember that they are warriors and should always carry their courageous spirit with them.

Passing Down Resilience

Two-time osteosarcoma survivor Carlos was first diagnosed at 17 and again at 20. Despite surgery, two rounds of chemotherapy, and a leg amputation, he refused to allow cancer to define his identity.

Today, Carlos is 37 and married, with a successful career in medical sales. His new passion is being a dad to his young daughter Mia.

“I don’t have my leg and, at times, that sucks, but the life that I have now — with my wife and my daughter — I would go through it all again to have this life with them.”

That resiliency is something Carlos hopes to pass down to his daughter.

“As people, we can endure so much,” he says. “I want Mia to always have that resilience, that persistence, that inner drive to fight and never give up.”


Read more stories of progress, inspiration, and support from osteosarcoma survivors on the Osteosarcoma Institute’s blog, The Frontline.

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