Student makes heartwarming return to New Jersey school after surviving battle with cancer

Toni Yates Image
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Student makes heartwarming return to New Jersey school after surviving battle with cancer
Toni Yates has the story of the young student who returned to school after beating cancer.

CLARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey student was welcomed back to school Wednesday after surviving his battle with cancer.

6th-grader Connor Chin's to do list is short. "I want to learn and meet new friends," he said.

He'll have the chance to do that, learn golf and archery too.

Connor has survived osteosarcoma, a bone cancer discovered last year.

His mom Lisa brought to his school the best news of all.

"I'm happy to share with you that he is in remission and that he is cancer free," she said.

It brought a standing ovation from 6th grade classmates that he barely knows, since his treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering took him away from the grounds of Carl Kumpf School in Clark for a year.

But not away from learning, his teachers made sure of that.

"I set up Google classroom obviously because he could not be physically in class so he followed what we did via his Google classroom, then my colleague Mrs. Ann Mahoney would go out to him with language arts things that he needed to work on," said language arts teacher Victoria Sasso.

And now he gets to really know his classmates.

"I'm lucky to come back even though there are only a few days left, I'm looking forward to be here as much as possible," he said.

And they're ready for him.

"If you need any help getting around school, we're happy to help you," said one of his classmates.

The Chin family expressed gratitude for his medical teams and the school, which welcomed him with signs all over the place.

Connor is also the ambassador for Stop and Shop's fundraising for pediatric cancer research.

"He's actually been very positive, he hasn't complained and he's a fighter, he stays in a good mood," said Connor's sister Elizabeth Chin.

"Boys and girls, keep Connor as an example for us. It shows what he endured, there are no obstacles we can't overcome," said Clark Schools Superintendent Edward Grande.

This is one of those life lessons that can stay with you forever. These kids can learn love and compassion in stories, but to experience it, it can help shape the people they will become.

"It feels really nice knowing that all my friends missed me," said Connor.

He will be back in the fall, ready for 7th grade.