Photo courtesy of the Cibulka Family | Sammy Cibulka ’18 continues to battle cancer.
By Chris Agnone ’18
Sammy Cibulka ’18 has been having a life changing experience fighting a battle against cancer for the last seven months.
Cibulka was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma right after his Argentine exchange student left his house in February last winter.
He had surgery on his right shoulder in April to remove a malignant tumor. He has also been undergoing radiation treatments and consistent chemotherapy.
Cibulka said his current scans are a blessing, coming back negative.
Cibulka will still have chemotherapy for about another six to seven months to make sure it does not return.
Principal Mr. Bob Ryan said cancer is an awful thing to deal with and it affects not only the patient, but every family member and friend along with the community.
In Cibulka’s case that includes teammates as he played on the junior varsity basketball team last year.
The cancer not only interferes with his athletic life, but also with his school.
The consistent chemotherapy and sicknesses that come with it make it impossible for Cibulka to attend classes on a regular schedule.
Brophy administrators created a system to help by giving Cibulka a plan to stay involved in the community as well as graduate after his treatment.
“Sammy is welcome to go to Student Council and class whenever he feels well enough,” Mr. Ryan said. “He is still a full member of the Brophy community.”
Cibulka said he is grateful for all the support he is getting from everyone in the community.
He also said he has a new found gratitude for the life he has and how things can change very quickly for anyone.
“I was living life like a normal teenager,” Cibulka said. “My family and I were actually in my favorite place, Del Mar, Calif., when we got the call that I had cancer. It rocked me and my family. It was kind of ironic that we got called about something so grave in my favorite place.”
Cibulka said he feels blessed about his cancer situation and that it could be much worse.
“There are very young kids in the hospital with leukemia with three years of treatment,” he said. “I have one year and for that I am very thankful. I also see kids who are 15 years old and in a very similar situation as me; I wonder what is going through their minds, what are they thinking about.”
Cibulka seems to have discovered an important life lesson through his experience.
“It is all about positive thinking,” he said. “If you can remain positive and think about the best thing that can happen, then you will open the door for a positive outcome. I wake up each day and tell myself, I will have a good day today. That is what it is all about.”