PORTLAND, Ore. — In January of 2018, at the age of 13, Atticus Root felt a pain in his left leg.
He went to the hospital and doctors found a tumor, diagnosing him with Osteosarcoma. Atticus Root had cancer in his leg.
"It was scary, um, I didn't know what to expect. You just see people on TV with bald heads and stuff," Root, now 15 said, "It was tumor inside the lower part of my femur. They were able to do chemo and stuff, it was just intense chemo to be able to kill the cells. We did that for like a month and then I did a limb salvage surgery."
When both options didn't work, and the tumor made a comeback, this time more severe than before. Atticus and his mom had a decision to make.
"It really wasn't that hard of a decision to make,” Root said. “It was either my life or an amputation and not being able to walk for a few months or maybe a year."
A year and a half later, Atticus was ready to go through surgery.
He had, like many, pre-surgery nerves. To help calm those fears one of his doctors called a friend, the fiancé of Trail Blazer's guard CJ McCollum. McCollum, getting ready for game 2 of NBA's western conference finals against the Golden State Warriors sent this message in a video.
"Hey, what's up Atticus? This is CJ McCollum from the Portland Trail Blazers, man. Just wanted to wish you luck. I heard you're going through a surgery tomorrow, man. I'll be praying for you, your family and best of luck through everything."
McCollum then went on to add he'd like to get Atticus tickets to a game one day.
Atticus will soon be out of the hospital and get fitted for a prosthetic. He's looking forward to going back to school in the fall as a sophomore at Benson High School.
He hopes to turn this into a positive and pursue a career in prosthetic robotics, so he can help others just like him.
His family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for expenses.