Now a first-year student, Sarah Conway vividly remembers lying in a hospital bed when she was 14, gathering up courage to look at her amputated leg.
"At the hospital, I avoided looking at it for a long time. When I finally did see it, I went through an identity crisis," Conway said. "It was so weird to see myself like that."
Conway, a native of Benton Harbor, was 13 when she looked in a full-length mirror and noticed her right leg was much bigger than her left.
"I was as skinny as a toothpick, so it really stood out. I showed my mom and we went to my doctor, thinking it might be an allergy or something, but my leg only kept getting bigger," she said.
A series of ultrasounds, scans and x-rays were inconclusive; then Conway underwent an MRI.
"Fifteen minutes after leaving the MRI appointment, we were called back to the hospital," she said. "They found an abnormal mass in my leg, a fast-growing tumor."
Conway was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer, in her right fibula. Her doctor recommended rounds of chemotherapy to hopefully shrink the mass. She remembered it was summer.