PEARLAND, TX. (CNN) – Riley Rhoden was diagnosed with a tumor when he was only 2 years old. Now he’s six and thriving as a valuable player on his local tee ball team. This is a story about perseverance. Personified by a little boy from Pearland.
“It’s just the will of a kid,” says Riley’s mom Rachel.
Riley Rhoden isn’t going to let anything get in his way of a normal life.”He’s beat the odds” “He’s gone beyond what I thought he could do.”Doubts which crept in not long after he was born.
“I took him to the pediatrician several times and they told me it was a birth mark” When Riley was two years old, his mom Rachel noticed what looked like a small mosquito bite on his left arm.
“My hair would raise every time I would look at it”Her young mother’s intuition turned out to be right.
“Finally one night, Riley had climbed into bed with me and he had woken up in the middle of the night and I was soaked in blood, his pajamas were soaked in blood.”
Several tests at MD Anderson in Galveston revealed Riley had a very rare malignant tumor.
“A two year old doesn’t know what cancer is..so We called it his shark bite.”
“There was a time for a couple of days where the term, ‘Make him as comfortable as possible’ was an option and it was just having to sit there and wait … Waiting is the worst part.”
Doctors finally told the family the only way Riley would be able to survive was to amputate his entire left arm.
“I laid in bed and said ‘God take me instead, take my arm take me instead.. I just didn’t want this happening to my kid. It was the most awful thing I think I have ever experienced.”
“It’s an absolute miracle that he is even here”
Riley is now 6 years old, a member of the braves in the Pearland tee ball league.
“It doesn’t matter if we win or lose okay? We need to play hard, play like brothers, anything, we need to get together as a team. Come on!”
Which at first wasn’t easy for him to do. “I wondered, how I was going to do this”
“I had no idea how to play this sport.”One day though he and his dad watched a video online of a one-armed japanese player using a rather interesting technique. A move he has since perfected.
“I throw the ball kind of high, flip my glove off, catch it and throw it”
“This season in probably the third or fourth game, he actually did it in the game and I was more proud of him doing that than anything else”
He is playing the game he loves while showing anything is possible
“Yes, our son has lost so much, but I feel like he sacrificed to show the world.. I would definitely classify it as a miracle”
“I would say it was God’s plan”
Riley seems to be making the best of his new life.