Tommy Doran Has Battled Adversity And Now Helps Others
Compassionate cancer survivor is an inspiration to family and friends.
Welcome to Salem Patch Whiz Kids, a place where we will honor the great work of Salem's youth. This week, we kick off the regular feature by recognizing Tommy Doran, who has faced adversity and now is inspiration to family and friends.
Whiz Kid: Tommy Doran
Tenth Grade: Salem Academy Charter School
Tommy Doran attends Salem Academy Charter School. Over the years, he has found time to play youth soccer, Salem little league, attend St. James CCD classes and Campfire USA, just like any other kid.
While he has maintained a routine like many his age, Tommy has also done something that most his age have not — he has battled cancer four times, from the age of 4 to 14.
In second grade, he received a Rotary leadership award for inspiring school children to bring their change for the Leukemia Society's "Pennies for Patients" program. He has served as an ambassador to the society, inspiring many kids to donate.
In addition to his own work to educate people and support the fight against cancer, Tommy has inspired others to support the cause as well. Tommy has been an inspiration to a Boston Marathon runner who has run the race eight times in Tommy's name as a part of Mass General's Fighting Kids Cancer One Step at a Time. Friends and sisters of our Whiz Kid have donated hair to Locks of Love after they were touched by his courage.
Tommy's mom, Lisa Doran, said she has also been inspired by her son.
"His courage and bravery, I could not even begin to describe in words," she said. "He has inspired many to live life every day, always to its fullest. He has taught all of us to 'never sweat the small stuff.'...I once watched him at the bedside of a hospital roommate, talk to her and calm her down before she would undergo a surgical procedure," Lisa said. "He's inspired me to be a strong parental advocate for all my children. He probably doesn't even realize how many lives he's touched in so many different ways."
Tommy's mom said her son hopes to attend Salem State University and become a child life specialist one day.