Teen cancer survivor gets hero’s welcome home

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HIGHLAND, Ill. –  In Highland, Indiana, orange ribbons and neighbors line the streets.  It was all part of  homecoming for 18-year-old Matt Markovich.

Last spring, the high school football player knew something was wrong at prom.

“My leg just hurt,” Matt said.  “My calf hurt.  It was unbearable pain.  I wasn't dancing and I wasn't having fun.”

Kim Thomas took her son to the ER.  They ran tests and quickly found out Matt had leukemia.

He would spend the next 100 days at Comer Children's hospital.

Kim left her job to be with him during the week.

Matt went through chemotherapy and then a bone marrow transplant.  He spent nearly two months in isolation.

“You see everything he's gone through in football and to watch him fight this was definitely the toughest battle he had to fight,” said his step father Ryan Thomas. “And he did it.”

Now the family is together under one roof.

Matt missed his high school graduation, but returned to the football field to throw the coin toss at tonight's game.

Matt says he plans to take online college classes this year.  Because of his delicate immune system, he cannot go away to school right now.

The community has established a GoFundMe page for Matt and his family.

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