"You can't progress in anything you do unless you have a positive outlook and that's something I've learned in baseball."
Caleb Ostronic was one of the area's best high school baseball players before the Eudora High School catcher was diagnosed with leukemia in January.
Caleb has spent the last 58 days at the KU Cancer Center preparing for and dealing with the aftereffects of his bone marrow transplant.
Caleb's dad Bill Ostronic said his son has faced a number of serious challenges over the past few weeks.
"it's never good to watch your child suffer," Bill said. "pretty challenging. He's endured a lot of pain, but KU Medical's done an amazing job keeping that under control, staying on top of some of the symptoms that go along with the transplant.”
As tough as the physical pain has been, it’s been the emotional pain of missing his senior baseball season, his prom and his graduation that has stood out.
"it definitely affected his emotions and his mindset- that he was missing everything," Bill said. “we actually threw him a little graduation party at the hospital and made him put on his gown."
One year ago, Caleb was a strapping 195-pounder, but now he's down to around 147 pounds. What's worse is that it appeared the transplant wasn't working.
"two weeks ago they were talking about possibly having to do another transplant because his numbers weren't climbing," bill explained.
Caleb’s numbers are now on the rise, though, and doctors hope that he will be able to go home soon.
Beating leukemia is tough, but so is Caleb, his father said.
"He's stronger than I thought he was, and it's allowed him to get through it a lot easier than, I would say, some others,” Bill explained.
While he's been stuck there in his hospital room for months at a time, Caleb is determined to beat leukemia and pursue his dream of playing college baseball.
He hopes to be able to go home soon, and despite his illness, several colleges remain interested in him as a baseball player.
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