On Dec. 15, 2006, Kevin Scott and his family -- his mother, Kia Faulk, and five siblings -- piled into a van and started the long drive to Maryland for a funeral.
"On our way out of town, Kevin got out of the van and I saw this huge lump on his neck," Mrs. Faulk said. "We were playing that morning and didn't see anything."
Kevin, 8, had had a cold a few days before, so Mrs. Faulk figured it was a swollen lymph node, but she called her doctor anyway. He sent them to the Medical College of Georgia after seeing the lump.
The family saw one doctor after another as the day passed.
"It became pretty clear we weren't going to make it to Maryland," Mrs. Faulk said.
X-rays eventually revealed a mass so deep in Kevin's chest that it had pushed his lungs and heart far enough aside that nurses were unable to track his breathing.
At the rate the mass was growing, Mrs. Faulk says, "they prepared me the whole night that he wasn't going to make it."
They prayed, family poured into town, and over the next few days, Kevin hung on.
"I didn't understand," Kevin, now 10, said. "I felt fine."
He started chemotherapy three days after arriving at the hospital. His hair fell out and the treatment left him diabetic, having to check his blood sugar three times a day.
But after spending all but two months of 2007 in the hospital, the chemo worked, and Kevin was cancer-free.
"I don't know how I made it," Mrs. Faulk said. "The Lord always held my hand. I could picture the Lord's hand on his chest keeping his heart going."
Kevin is due for his final spinal tap on Thursday. He hopes it will confirm he's still cancer-free.
The family held a second celebration of life on Monday, inviting friends and family to Skateland of Augusta.
Last year, Kevin used his first celebration of life to raise $250 for the National Children's Cancer Society, an organization that helped the family pay for Christmas gifts, gas and food while he was hospitalized.
The family hopes to raise $500 for the society this year.
"We were fortunate. We have no outstanding medical bills," she said, thanks to insurance and Medicaid that paid the rest.
Kevin says he feels fine. Back in school, he showed off his drumming skills at a talent show and talks of becoming a video game designer.
"He was my superhero," his mother said. "He still is. I call him my Mufasa."
Reach Kelly Jasper at (706) 823-3552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT TO HELP?
Contributions may be sent in honor of Kevin Scott to the National Children's Cancer Society, 1 South Memorial Drive, Suite 800, St. Louis, MO 63102. See www.nationalchildrenscancersociety.org