Going above and beyond for Knox

By: Emily Fink .

Knox Olafson, osteosarcoma survivor
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Knox Olafson loves playing outside, so it wasn’t surprising when the 4-year-old took a tumble in the backyard early last year.

Although Knox complained about his ankle, he received a clean bill of health at a child wellness visit. His mom, Christy Olafson, wasn’t concerned until she noticed he’d developed a limp that was getting progressively worse, and he began to cry out in pain in the middle of the night.

X-rays showed a large tumor in his knee. Further testing confirmed it was cancerous and aggressive.

Olafson and her husband, Jared Olafson, were devastated. Their precious boy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Immediately, they traveled more than three hours from their home in Warroad, Minnesota, to Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, for specialized care.

“The results were not anything we could have prepared our hearts for,” Christy Olafson said.

The treatment plan started with 10 weeks of chemotherapy and paused for a complicated surgery to amputate part of Knox’s leg. Following surgery, chemotherapy resumed for another 18 weeks.

“Knox’s comfort was their priority,” Christy Olafson said. “They showed genuine love and concern for Knox. He was not just a patient; he was like a part of the family.”

After more than seven months of nearly nonstop treatment, Knox completed his last session of chemo in late November. He is cancer-free today.

“With it being our own child, we’d go across the world to save him,” Christy Olafson said. “But I would always choose Sanford Children’s. We’re so grateful for everyone who went above and beyond to make the experience and journey easier and more memorable.”

Knox’s story will be part of the 18th annual Cares for Kids Radiothon in Fargo that airs on 93.7 FM and 99.9 FM from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on  Thursday, Jan. 25, and Friday, Jan. 26. Since 1984, Sanford Children’s Hospital has been North Dakota’s only Children’s Miracle Network hospital. As always, 100 percent of funds raised here stay here to help kids in our region.