• Pittsburgh-area teen with terminal cancer defies odds, retires bucket list


    PITTSBURGH - "It's not supposed to be, but who cares, because it is," Devin's stepmother, Daneen Kowall said.
    Daneen Kowall never thought we'd be sitting here.
    "They told us last Thanksgiving that he wouldn't make it through the holidays," said Kowall.
    That's because her 14-year-old son Devin had just been diagnosed with an aggressive, terminal bone cancer.
    When Channel 11 first met him last fall, he had weeks to live.
    "We tried to make it the best possible Christmas that it could have been," said Kowall.
    But then, New Years passed.  And so did the weeks. And then the months.
    "His one oncologist says this isn't how it happens. This isn't how it's supposed to happen," said Kowall.
    Now, a year later, Devin's still here, defying the odds.
    "Gets on my nerves daily, like a normal teenager!" teased Kowall.
    Devin stole Pittsburgh's heart last year because he wasn't working on his Christmas list.  He had a bucket list.  One of his wishes was to get 10,000 likes on his Facebook page called, "Devin's Dreams."  And that's where you, our Channel 11 viewers, came through.
    "I thought maybe I'd get close to like, a hundred." said Devin.
    After Channel 11’s interview, the page had 17,000 likes.  Today, it has more than 21,000 likes.
    Devin has since retired his bucket list.
    "It depresses him," said Kowall.  "It makes him feel like, 'I'm going to die.'"
    Devin's prognosis hasn't changed, but this young man still finds strength in your Facebook messages.
    "I like it because it shows me that other people care and I'm not just alone," said Devin.
    "He wants to live and that's his best medicine right now," said Kowall.
    Devin's family also endured a house fire in February, and they had to live in a hotel for months.
    Now, the family is back home, and Devin is looking forward to a big Thanksgiving meal.

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