Daybreak Middle School celebrates student who beat cancer

Jan. 28, 2022

Daybreak Middle School 8th grader David Boggs is a special kid. Just ask anyone who knows him. You’ll hear words like “kind hearted,” “oozing positivity,” “loves to learn,” and much more. 

This innate optimism is even more impressive when you learn that the 13-year-old just recently beat a rare form of bone cancer known as osteosarcoma, which forced the amputation of his left leg.

“He got us through this,” said Nick Boggs, David’s father. “We weren’t his strength, he was our strength.”

The cancer diagnosis came nearly a year ago after David suddenly couldn’t walk. Doctors eventually amputated his left leg, then performed a rotationplasty, turning his lower leg 180 degrees and reattaching it to his hip, making his heel into his new knee joint. Eventually, the surgery will allow the active teenager to control a prosthetic that will give him the freedom to once again run and jump. In November he got to ring the bell at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland after finishing chemotherapy.

Student holding sign reading David > CancerOn Wednesday, Jan. 26, David’s fellow students and the teachers and staff at Daybreak Middle School organized a sendoff to celebrate his victory over cancer. Battle Ground Mayor Philip Johnson named David an honorary mayor for the day, and Police Chief Mike Fort presented him with a Challenge Coin from the department—the first ever given to someone outside of the bureau.

“I just can’t believe that this is such a big deal,” David said after the event. “I’m so honored.”

“I really couldn’t have asked for anything more from him,” added dad. “He surpassed all of our expectations.”

After Wednesday’s sendoff at Daybreak, David and his family were treated withDavid Boggs with his family a visit to the Oregon Air Guard base where the airplane enthusiast got to sit in the cockpit of an F-15 fighter jet. He returned home to find out that the Make-a-Wish Foundation had granted his request: a bedroom makeover that includes a new computer, complete with a full flight simulator setup.

“I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. I’m just obsessed with planes,” David said. He plans to join the AFJROTC next year as a freshman at Battle Ground High School. “I’m afraid of heights, but I would love to fly.”

Overcoming fears is nothing new to David. Of his cancer diagnosis and long journey back to health he said “it’s just nature, I guess. Once you realize the only way is forward, you just have to stay positive.”

Learn more about David’s journey and the fight against childhood cancers by visiting the Children’s Cancer Association website.


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