The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of two teenagers with cancer who meet at a support group and fall in love. One of the characters, Augustus Waters, suffers from osteosarcoma — a kind of bone cancer. A real teenager named Faith Brown who lives in Brooksville, Florida, and a reader of The Fault In Our Stars happens to have the exact same form of cancer.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, 14-year-old Faith discovered she had osteosarcoma last year. The disease is a rare form of cancer that causes solid tumors to grow in the bones of adolescents. It afflicts young people most often when they hit major growth spurts.
CancerCenter.comdescribes the disease as:
“[T]he most common type of bone cancer and typically starts in bone cells in the arms, legs or pelvis. It occurs most frequently in individuals between the ages of 10 and 30, and is more common in males than females.”
Faith Brown first felt pain in her right knee, which doctors suspected was from a fall or minor injury. But after the pain persisted, X-rays and an MRI revealed a cancerous growth in her knee.
“That’s when they found it,” said Faith’s mother, Kathy Brown. “There was a mass in her knee that wasn’t bulging out. It was just 3 to 4 centimeters in the growth plate in her knee. We were lucky, we caught it really early.”
In The Fault In Our Stars, Augustus Waters had osteosarcoma in his leg, which required an amputation below the knee. Faith Brown was slightly luckier than the character in the story. Parts of her knee, shin bone, and thigh bone had to be removed. She also underwent nine months of chemotherapy. Fortunately, Faith’s leg was saved. They replaced the bone with titanium rods and replaced her knee with an artificial one. Faith’s cancer was caught much earlier than Gus in The Fault in Our Stars. When the tumors get too large, amputation is usually the only option — and the cancer can continue to spread.
The beloved heartthrob from The Fault in Our Stars was once a star basketball player who has to settle for a prosthetic limb and a limp. Luckily, Gus doesn’t really like basketball that much. Faith has a limp too and is also no longer unable to play sports, but she should live a normal healthy life.
“If you didn’t know her story and saw her walking down the road, you wouldn’t know she had limb salvage surgery. She is doing great,” her mother said.
Faith did end up reading The Fault in Our Stars, but it was harder for her to get through the heart-wrenching story than most teens, because the story was so close to her personal experience.
“I knew I would have so much in common with it,” Faith said about The Fault in Our Stars. “I liked it.”
The Inquisitr recently reported on the character of Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars. One of the most famous scenes from the story is the cigarette scene in which Gus explains that he keeps a cigarette in his mouth without lighting it. Find out why here. For more on The Fault in Our Stars’ DVD release and special The Fault in Our Stars gifts click here.