2002 Olympics picture leads to boy's story of survival - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

2002 Olympics picture leads to boy's story of survival

SPOKANE, WASH - They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In 2002, elementary students were the artists and eight years later one picture drew us to a boy, who had quite a story to tell. 

 The project was to draw a picture about the 2002 winter Olympic games.  Nearly 70 kids took the time to draw pictures, pictures that were just recently found sitting in a file drawer in the KHQ newsroom.

Skyler McDonald, who was six at the time, was one of the artists.  Now 14, he doesn't remember drawing an Olympic picture, but it's a project he has a connection with years later.

 

"If someone would listen maybe they would hear about all of my problems and why I shed a tear." Skyler explains.

 

On July 10, 2006, Skyler was forced to compete in the ultimate competition, one for his life.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer, an experience he coped with through writing poetry.

 

"It was hard but it helped to have my family there to get me through it." Skyler told us.

 

He underwent life-threatening surgery to remove the tumor he aptly named 'the big ball of death'.

Skyler then spent months in the hospital and while he waited he had a wish.  He wished to meet the man who went through what he went through, and won.

 

"When I was in the hospital they just handed me the tickets," remembers Skyler. "We were in the arena watching the skating championships and Scott Hamilton just walked up to me and started talking to me."

 

Two people with different dreams and two people with an unbreakable bond, both suffering from a brain tumor and beating it.

 

It's proof that gold isn't only for the Olympians who finish first. Gold is for those who achieve the ultimate feat, survival. Two miracles captured I a single moment, in a picture that needs no words.    

 

Cindi DeHoog
KHQ Reporter

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