Rochester teen with rare form of cancer dies - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Rochester teen with rare form of cancer dies

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- A 15-year-old from Rochester whose been battling a rare form of leukemia for the past two years died on Monday and now his classmates are rallying to remember the teen.

In October of 2009, Will Dickes was in need of a bone marrow transplant but since he was adopted from Korea at an early age, finding a match was a difficult task.

"The relapse happened before we even had the one year anniversary of dealing with his cancer," says his mom Loretta.

By January of 2010, doctors had found a match and successfully completed Will's transplant but a few months later it was rejected.

"It's been hard, especially when he was first diagnosed... then they found some sneaky cancer cells that didn't get taken care of," says Loretta Dickes.

Will, along with his parents decided in late 2010 to stop treatment for his lymphoblastic leukemia.

"I just went up to him, gave him a kiss and told him that I loved him," Loretta says about having to say a final goodbye to her 15-year-old son.

After his hair fell out in July, Will began sporting a black stocking cap at Century High School and after he died Monday, his classmates all went out and bought one.

"Lots of hats, definitely, you couldn't look anywhere without seeing a hat with duct tape on it," says one of his friends.

"No matter how weak or tired he was, he didn't show it, he still smiled and laughed and had fun."

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