RENO, NV - An Elko teen battling stage 4 cancer is headed to the Super Bowl this weekend. The tickets were donated by a couple from Incline Village, Gary and Megan Kasden. The Kasdens won the tickets through a raffle at the Tahoe Forest Cancer Center where Gary was undergoing chemotherapy.
Kasden had finished treatment, but a bout with the flu, then pneumonia, left him too weak to travel. The couple was eager to make a difference in someone else's life, so they worked with the Gene Upshaw Memorial Fund and the Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation to find Kody.
According to his father, Kirk Beach, the 16-year-old is battling a type of melanoma usually found in older adults. "He's had five operations so far, and now it's in his lungs," says Beach "So they're trying a different treatment option to prevent it from spreading and hopefully he can get into remission. That's what we're hoping for." Before he starts treatment again, Kody's family is excited to have this experience with him. "I'm praying that I will have a long time with him," says Kody's brother Cory. "But if worse comes to worst, I want this to be a great memory for all our family to just forget about what he's going through and just really live in the moment."
Kody's family describes him as shy and quiet, so a room filled with television and newspaper reporters was a bit overwhelming. Still, he found his voice to say he and his family are beyond grateful to the Kasdens for this gift.