MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Every Monday, WCCO shares a story of a child or family working through the process of recovery from a disease.

This week, WCCO is bringing two positive updates on some of those previous stories!


WCCO first met Brian last year when he was a senior at St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts. He was a musical theater major until he found out he had cancer in his throat.

His mom said he is the 65th person in the U.S. in 15 years to have had such a cancer, and is one of only five survivors.

He had a long battle even after the cancer with chronic pain and re-learning how to talk and eat.

WCCO is so happy to report that Brian is doing well! He’ll be graduating next February with his high school diploma and Nursing Assistant license. He plans on doing the college program at his school Job Corps.

Life is going really well for Brian. He said he’s beat his depression from everything that he’s gone through and has been off all medication for a year-and-a-half. He said he’s so grateful for everything he has right now and how far he’s come.


WCCO met Maksim in November 2015. When he was 2-years-old, he got food poisoning, which quickly became life threatening.

Maksim then went into kidney failure.

It’s been about a year-and-a-half since Maksim started the process of getting a kidney transplant. Maksim was scheduled to get his new kidney on July 17, but a couple weeks ago they had to move that up unexpectedly.  The donor was more than happy to accommodate though – Maksim’s dad is the one who gave his son his new kidney.

Both surgeries went well and both dad and Maksim are recovering nicely.

His mom said he has very little pain remaining from surgery, and he can’t stop smiling! They did have to have the surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, so their expenses have been very high.

To help with expenses of the visit, go to Maksim’s GoFundMe page.