By Melina Bourdeau
By Marissa Rousseau
Eddy Beeso, a cancer survivor and Framingham State alumnus, spoke about his battle with cancer on Monday, April 25 in the Ecumenical Center.
Beeso, a psychology major with a communication arts minor who graduated in fall of 2015, has been cancer-free for 15 years. He spoke about his experience fighting myxopapillary ependymoma, a cancer of the spine.
At the age of 9, Beeso was diagnosed at Mass General Hospital in Boston, where his doctors discovered a tumor on his spine. Within the same night, they removed it. A year later, another tumor developed and was immediately removed.
During his early years of high school, his doctors found a third tumor. After it was removed, he was paralyzed from the chest down which required him to use a wheelchair.
Beeso’s doctors said the limited movement he had in his big toe was “the best it would get.
“The anxiety and fear of what other people thought of me was the reason why I dropped out of school my sophomore year of high school,” said Beeso.
During his hiatus from school, he realized, “I was letting this illness beat me. Even though I hadn’t died, it was still beating me because I was letting it kill the social aspect of my life.”
Beeso’s aunt inspired him to seek patient therapy. His physical therapist helped him walk again.
“There was a man there who would just refuse to let me sit in my chair. He was like, ‘You know what? We’re going to get you walking.’ For months and months and months, this guy pushed me and pushed me until finally, I was up and I was actually able to stand on my own, which was crazy.”
Beeso soon upgraded from a wheelchair to a cane. When he began attending FSU, he got rid of his cane altogether.
Besso said, “I started walking more, and you guys have probably seen me fall at least a hundred times around here. You eventually get good at it, and the anxiety starts to go away. Most people don’t realize, though, that I am somewhat of a nervous wreck when I walk. It’s still really hard. I have to consciously [be aware] of every step that I’m going to take.”
His story resonated with several students.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Shannon said, “Eddy was really well-spoken and his story, his tale, was quite inspiring.”
Senior Morgan Zabinski, a friend of Beeso’s, said, “I thought it was a very touching event. I never knew his entire story. I knew he had cancer, so it was nice to hear his story and learn how far he’s come in his life.”
Matthew Starbard, a senior, said, “I thought it was a very uplifting experience – to hear about his personal battle with cancer and how he regained his ability to walk. Doctors told him he’d never walk again, and he proved them wrong by pushing himself. It was quite an inspirational story.”