Breck teen recovering after cancer surgery |

Breck teen recovering after cancer surgery

BRECKENRIDGE – Fourteen-year-old Armando Tovar might be on a skateboard this summer after all.

According to his mother, Liz, Armando is recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his leg and to replace most of his femur, knee joint and part of his lower leg. The tumor was completely dead, she said. Doctors cemented in a titanium rod connected to a knee joint and reattached his knee cap and tendons.

The Breckenridge teen begins another round of chemotherapy at the end of next week, and he will have to continue the therapy for six to eight months because the cancer spread to his lungs.

“He’s responded so well to the chemotherapy that his chances of survival are greatly increased,” Liz said. “That is such great news.”

Armando’s doctors reluctantly agreed he could get back on his skateboard this summer – and possibly his snowboard next winter – but they’d prefer him to work on building up his muscles by biking.

Armando dislocated his knee skateboarding three years ago, but the injury never healed completely. In January, Liz took him to an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed him with osteosarcoma – bone cancer.

The tumor started at his kneecap and progressed three-quarters of the way up his femur. Armando underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy, which shrank the tumor 30 percent.

Doctors then weighed the pros and cons of various surgeries, including amputating his leg or replacing the femur with one from a cadaver or with a titanium rod.

Complicating the decision was the fact that while the tumor got its start on the injury site, it soon spread to the growth plates in his leg and has grown with the bone.

Surgery was delayed because Armando developed a high fever that wouldn’t break.

Friends and strangers have participated in several fundraisers for Armando, and another is scheduled for Saturday. The second annual World Fest, to be held from 4-8 p.m. at the middle school, will feature food from 22 countries, music, an evening play and other entertainment. Some of the admission and food pass proceeds will help offset Armando’s medical expenses.

Last year, World Fest raised more than $3,000 for charities students selected.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or

Benefit for Armando Tovar

– When: 4-8 p.m., Saturday, May 10

– Where: Summit Middle School

– Cost: Admission is $3 per person or $12 per family. Adult food passes are $5, children’s and middle school students’ passes are $3

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