Ted Kennedy Jr. meets with cancer survivors Saturday
Ted Kennedy Junior, the son of the late Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy is in Sioux Falls meeting with cancer survivors and their families.
Kennedy was a childhood cancer survivor. Now he shares a message with those who have won the battle.
Amanda Allstot sits next to Ted Kennedy Junior as she shares her cancer experience with him. Now 17 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at the age of 13. She lost part of her leg but she says it made her stronger.
"You don't have to be ashamed about it. It's a positive thing and you learn a lot by having a diagnosis," Allstot said.
Allstot is finding her diagnosis is similar to Kennedy's.
"I get to meet these incredible people like Amanda whose story is like mine and diagnosed with bone cancer and lost their leg just like me," Ted Kennedy Jr. said.
Kennedy didn't just sit down with Allstot but with other cancer survivors who are sharing similar stories Saturday. He says the more they share the more beneficial it can be for them.
"Parents and children meeting other parents and children who share their experiences and strengths with one another, that you don't have to be alone even though you have a cancer diagnosis," Ted Kennedy Jr. said.
He also toured the Sanford Center in Sioux Falls -- something he was impressed with.
"What's going on here is a real model for the rest of the country and they're so lucky to attract world-class nurses and doctors and other people," Ted Kennedy Jr. Said.
That world-class care helps hundreds of cancer patients today.
And Allstot knows how that care helped her. Now she's able to share her experience with so many others and a man many know by name.
"This is really big and living in Sioux Falls we don't have people like this come here too often," Allstot said.
Kennedy also spoke at the Washington Pavilion Saturday night.
Kennedy is currently a healthcare attorney. He also works on expanding job opportunities for people with disabilities.
This isn't Kennedy's first time in South Dakota. He said he visited the western part of the state when he was younger.
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