San Diego

How Cathedral Catholic's ‘Miracle At Manchester' is still helping cancer patients

Bryce Newman, diagnosed with brain cancer in high school, now leads a nonprofit giving iPads to pediatric cancer patients in Children's Hospitals around the country

NBC Universal, Inc.

By all accounts, Bryce Newman was at a low point in his fight against brain cancer when a surprise gathering at his high school changed the trajectory of his life and as it turns out, maybe the lives of other cancer patients too.

His family, friends, and classmates call it a miracle.

A photograph captured the moment: hundreds of hands stretched towards the sick boy in the middle of the Cathedral Catholic High School football stadium stands.

After months of grueling chemotherapy and treatment, Newman's cancer had recurred and his parents were considering experimental treatment.

It was in this fog of uncertainty when the school's entire student body gathered around him to pray for healing.

"I don't know if I'm able to come up with the right words, but it was awesome," said Newman.

Seven years later, the picture inside Manchester Stadium remains a visual and powerful glimpse of the turning point in his cancer fight and the inspiration for a nonprofit helping other kids dealing with cancer.

Newman, 23, now healthy and thriving as a graduate student at Texas A&M University, started as a way of giving back to pediatric cancer patients.

"Manchester Stadium was the football stadium at Cathedral where my prayer was held," said Newman.

Newman, along with his parents and other supporters, visits select children's hospitals handing out iPads to kids who may otherwise be battling boredom along with cancer.

"I'm not the person who is going to cure cancer or whatever it is, but I can help fight that boredom you get when you're in the hospital," said Newman.

His mother and father accompany him on many of the hospital visits.

"He has that connection. He knows, he knows what they're going through and he wants them to get through just like he did," Newman's mother, Nicole, said. "He saw too many lose their lives when he was on the floor with them. I'm so proud he is willing to walk the walk and not just say 'I'm fine and move on with my life.'"

Newman estimates his nonprofit has delivered more than 150 iPads to kids at 3 different children's hospitals, but he hopes to one day take it to every children's hospital nationwide.

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