Most kids love summer time and dread going back to school.
But for 15-year-old Larose native Tremaine Mack, the feeling of sitting in a classroom with a book propped open and an ink pen squeezed between his fingers is all he’s focused on right now.
Mack was diagnosed with cancer last year. Since his diagnosis, he’s been receiving treatments, which forced him to be unable to attend regular classes with his peers.
At press-time, Mack is almost done with chemo. After that, he will be a round of radiation away from getting back in the classroom — a day he looks forward to as much as any.
“Hopefully he’ll be able to go back to real school in September,” Tremaine’s mother Jovan Mack said. “Things are looking up for him and he’s excited.”
“Everything is going good. I’m just staying positive,” Tremaine said. “I should be back in school next year. I can’t wait for that. That will be a big step for me.”
CRAMPS TURNED INTO MOTHER’S WORST FEAR
Tremaine Mack is a normal child — fun-loving, active and of a pure heart.
When he has leisure time, Tremaine likes to listen to music or hang out with friends. One of his biggest passions is sports. He plays basketball with friends and is quite an athlete.
Last summer, Tremaine said he started getting cramps in his right calf muscle. In addition to that, he started to feel a little sluggish and tired.
His mother took him to doctor to get a physical and after a quick search, they discovered the worst possible news. Those aches and pains were from tumors. That sluggishness and fatigue was cancer literally sapping the energy out of his body.
He was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Rhabdomyosarcoma. Doctors found the disease in his leg, groin, midsection and on his spine.
Tremaine said he remembers the day he got his diagnosis, but said he didn’t really have feelings or emotions about it.
“I just was ready to get the treatment done and start the process,” he said.
But for a mother, it is literally a nightmare come true.
She said she still cries about that day, adding that without faith in God, she would have likely broken.
“As a mom, it was heartbreaking finding out and it still is today,” Jovan Mack said. “I cry almost every day when I think about it, but then I stop and become thankful to God that he’s still here with me and getting better because I know the worst side of cancer. At the end of the day, I’m just grateful to still have my baby.”
Treatments are tough.
Chemotherapy and radiation take a toll on the body.
Tremaine said the process is long and it feels like time slows down when he’s going through the whole process.
But he’s approaching it with a clear, focused mind — his only thoughts are on beating it and getting past this chapter in his life.
So far, so good.
Doctors say the cancer isn’t showing any signs of spreading, which means that the process is working in his favor. His next treatments will be a round a radiation on his spine.
His mother said she marvels every day at the strength of her son, adding that he’s never complained about having the disease, nor the process of being treated.
On social media, Tremaine is often seen smiling, laughing or cutting up — all like he did before the diagnosis. His spirit has never been broken … or even threatened by the disease.
“I’ve seen him go through more than I could’ve ever wanted to go through and he’s so strong and always so positive,” Jovan Mack said. “He’s an inspiration for me and I truly admire him. My son has taught me that no matter what life throws at you, you have to remain who you are, keep a smile on your face and live your life because it’s the only one you have.”
COMMUNITY RALLIES BEHIND HIS CAUSE
The South Lafourche community is rooting for Tremaine, as well.
As soon as folks in the community got wind of his diagnosis, a prayer army formed and the young man was in the thoughts and prayers of hundreds locally.
On social media, a hashtag formed #PrayersForTremaine where folks were able to express their warm thoughts and well-wishes toward the young man.
Jovan Mack said she knew her son was popular and well-liked at school and by his teammates, but she had no idea that his illness would do so much to unify people on his behalf.
She said it’s been a joy that’s filled her heart with love knowing that so many people care for her son.
“I knew Tremaine was well-known, but I would’ve never imagined anything like this,” she said. “He has had so many people rooting for him and praying for him and wanting to do everything they possibly can. It just amazes me. Many of them have come through for us during our hard times and I can’t thank them enough.”
Tremaine smiles when asked about the people rooting for him throughout his fight, adding that it gives him motivation to know that he has so much support from people across our area and even beyond.
“It feels so good to know I have family and friends who are willing to support me through this whole thing,” he said. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: You are an inspiration, young man! Keep on fighting. Keep on pushing and know that there is an army of people praying for you at all times — including the folks here at Rushing Media! If you ever need anything, we’re a phone call away.