Teen cancer survivor serves breakfast to teens battling cancer in St. George – St. George News

ST. george is Local cancer survivor Ethan Fishel, 15, serves a pancake breakfast Saturday morning to teenagers battling cancer.

Ethan Fishel, 15, explains his Eagle Scout project, St. George, Utah, Aug. 3, 2022 | Photo by Truman Burgess, St. George News

The event officially launches the Washington County Teen Cancer Support Group and also serves as Fischel’s Eagle Scout project. The breakfast runs from 9-11 a.m. at Cottonwood Cove Park and is open to all cancer survivors, cancer patients and their families.

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Along with breakfast, the event will include music and games such as 9-in-the-Air, cornball, giant tic-tac-toe and giant Jenga.

Ethan Fishel was diagnosed with lymphoma in May 2021. Fishel’s mother, Angela, noticed a rash on the side of his neck and took him to the doctor to get it checked out. The rash revealed stage one lymphoma, which sent Fishel through two rounds of chemotherapy. Ethan Fishel was cancer-free at the end of the summer.

“I thought, ‘This is really bad. I really don’t know what to do,’” he said. “It was really scary, but the doctors did their job and treated him and fixed him.

“I feel like a different person. Now that I have cancer, I can see ways to help others that I couldn’t see before.”

During chemotherapy, the Fishels searched for a teenage cancer support group, but the closest groups were hours away in Las Vegas and the Wasatch Front.

“When you think about the financial implications, etcIf you take your child that far for support groups, it’s $100 for me to drive them there and back, plus a day out of town,” she said. “We were lucky enough to be able to afford it, but a lot of families can’t.”

As part of the support group, Ethan played golf, watched movies, and made long-lasting friendships with other teenagers going through similar life challenges. Even years later, he is still in touch with the friends he made through these groups.

Ethan Fishel with his father, Jerry Fishel, after shaving his head, St. George, Utah, June 2021 | Photo courtesy of Angela Fishel, St. George News

Despite the groups’ help, Angela Fischel said the experience would have been much better for her and Ethan if there had been a local support group.

“As a parent, I was very worried,” she said. “If there was a local group we could join really quickly, it would reduce our anxiety levels by talking to other children and parents. It wouldn’t have told us everything, but at least we’d have a bigger picture.”

Young people dealing with cancer often feel alienated, and hair loss can feel scary, she said, adding that joining a support group of like-minded and experienced teens can help them put cancer aside and feel like teenagers together.

“You have to take it one day at a time. Everything else comes when you get there,” he said. “It will end. The treatment ends, the condition improves. It’s hard to heal, but you’ll get through it.”

Ethan Fiesel shares his mom’s optimism about her cancer treatment and what she can say at her Washington County teen cancer support group.

“Don’t worry about the future. Just focus on today,” he said.

RSVP for Saturday Brunch by email [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook page at this link.

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