WESTLAND, Mich. (WJBK) - High school prom. Graduation. They're milestones we mark but often take for granted, but for Devyn Chatman -- they almost never happened. The Westland teen battling cancer is beating doctors' expectations after undergoing multiple surgeries to replace bone in his jaw.
"Everything can change in one day but you got to adapt to it," he says.
But you'd never know it by looking at him today.
"He is really strong. Really strong," says his mother, Tina.
He has the bracelets to prove it. Back in February, FOX 2 first introduced you to Devyn, a student at John Glenn High School, who went from raising money for cancer patients one day to being diagnosed with osteosarcoma the next. A rare cancerous tumor was found near his jaw. His classmates and community came together to help by selling Devyn Strong bracelets to raise money.
"I think it's because they know I would help them in a time of need too," Devyn says.
And they're right.
Through it all, including a surgery that removed a bone from his leg to reconstructing his face, Devyn had a smile.
"It's hard to not be all smiling and happy when he's always smiling at you," Tina says. Apparently that smile does more than even he knows.
Devyn says he didn't really set out to inspire anyone but simply couldn't help it just by being himself. There's s a stack of letters to prove it -- all sent to him by strangers. One letter in particular really spoke to him.
"Seeing Devyn and what he is going through, she wrote a letter telling him that he made her think more about her life and it's not as bad as who she thought it was," Tina says.
"I always wanted to help people so it made me feel good," Devyn says.
He has no plans of letting cancer slow him down now.
"Since he was 8 or 9 he's wanted to be a lawyer and fight for children that are abused," Tina says.
In the meantime, he's preparing for a second surgery and round of chemo or radiation. His mom quit her job to be by side full time, but the bills continue to raise. If you'd like to help out Devyn and his family, click here.