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Young Cancer Patient Has Amputation To Save Her Life

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4)– A 23-year-old, fighting a rare cancer of the bone, has had her leg amputated. Alyssa Liddle willingly talks about her journey with anyone who asks.

Liddle chooses to see the positive in her battle with cancer, especially the outpouring of love from family and friends and her excellent care at Rocky Mountain Cancer Center. But it’s a lengthy fight with challenges that have changed her life forever.

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(credit: CBS)

“I try to take every day and conquer it and live it to its fullest,” said Liddle.

She is an optimist.

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Alyssa Liddle (credit: Alyssa Liddle)

“I think it’s so important to get out and to see the world,” Liddle said.

She is an adventurer.

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(credit: Alyssa Liddle)

“I look at life kind of like a challenge,” Liddle said.

And she is a fighter.

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(credit: Alyssa Liddle)

Since April, the Colorado State University graduate has been fighting for her life. It started last November when Liddle noticed her right boot felt tight.

“There was no discoloration, just a little bit of swelling,” she told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

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CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh interviews Alyssa Liddle (credit: CBS)

Liddle said twice over five months her doctor called it a bruise. She and her mother, Laura, pushed for an MRI. It showed a cancerous tumor, Stage 3 Ewing’s sarcoma. It is a rare cancer that typically occurs in children and young adults and most often in and around the bones.

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(credit: CBS)

“You don’t know what to do next,” Liddle said.

Eight rounds of chemotherapy followed. Liddle then had to choose between removing the tumor, a surgery that may not have gotten all of the cancer and could have caused loss of leg function, or amputating the leg at the knee.

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(credit: Alyssa Liddle)

“Everybody faces challenges in their life and this is clearly going to be one of my greatest challenges,” she said blinking back tears.

On Sept. 13, Liddle lost her leg but saved her life.

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(credit: Alyssa Liddle)

“I’m cancer free, which is the best news,” she said.

Liddle has nine more rounds of preventive chemotherapy. She is sharing her cancer journey on Facebook in hopes of helping others.

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(credit: Alyssa Liddle)

“There’s good days and there’s bad days, of course, and everybody has them, but when life gives you cancer you still live,” she said.

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Alyssa Liddle (credit: CBS)

Liddle has both medical and financial challenges ahead. She has a GoFundMe page.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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