Mishawaka teen competes in first swim meet after overcoming cancer
MISHAWAKA, Ind. - A Mishawaka teen is beating the odds, competing in a swim meet tonight just 8 months after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
“It felt great,” Tristan Zuyderwyk said about his return to the pool.
Tristan was once a state-ranked swimmer in his middle school and was expected to be a top swimmer at Penn High School when tragedy struck.
“It is really scary when you get that diagnosis. That’s something you just can prepare for at all,” Rodney Zuyderwyk, Tristan’s dad said.
He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma.
“We called all our friends and everything and got everyone praying. The prayer really helped right away” Rodney said.
Instead of the expected year of treatment, he was able to stop after just 7 months.
“His body remained strong throughout the treatment which helped him get through it more quickly,” Rodney said.
“A soon as I started I wanted to get through it so I could get back into the pool,” Tristan said.
And today he competed competitively for the first time since his diagnosis.
“Hard but it felt good.” “time didn’t really matter for me right now, it was just more about the experience,” Tristan said.
Right alongside his brother Brock in the medley relay event at Penn High School.
“It’s insane just to see the transformation he has gone through. Obviously he has had to go through a lot. He’s lost a lot of weight,” Brock, Tristan’s brother said. “But he’s already back in the water, looking fast, swimming fast and it’s crazy to see how fast he can get back into things and I am so proud of him.”
And Tristan says there is hope in the future.
“See how far I go, I guess. D1 college,” he said.