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South Carolina teen overcomes tumor to earn Eagle Scout rank

It took him three tries before getting the title.

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — Eagle Scout is the highest rank for the Boy Scouts of America. Many leave the program before earning the title.

But one Richland County teen didn't give up - even while fighting another battle. 

Keith Frair is the scoutmaster for Troop 633 and he describes an Eagle Scout as someone who never gives up.

“Perseverance, and overcoming difficulties sticking with it," Frair said. 

He said Anthony Mitchell is one of the scouts who fit that description of perseverance, especially because it took Anthony longer than usual to earn the title.  

While facing the scout course ahead of him, Anthony had a personal obstacle of his own. 

“I have a tumor in my right shoulder," he said. "And it restricts my range of movement you know."

Anthony has a Desmoid tumor which is non-cancerous. However, he had to take chemo medication in order to shrink it. The mass limited his range of motion. When he went for one of the tasks required for Eagle Scout it took many tries. 

“I was stuck at tenderfoot, that low rank, for 3 years," he said. "And that’s not good because when you turn 18 you can't get Eagle Scout." 

On his third attempt, he thought it was too big of an obstacle to overcome. He said that had he not gotten it that time, he would have quit. What Anthony didn't say was he had an opportunity for an exemption. 

“He had been granted an exception to the swimming requirement,” Frair said.

He said Anthony simply refused an out to this challenge. Just a few months shy of his 18th birthday he crossed the finish line. 

“I powered through. I powered through the pain," he said. "I’ve never felt anything like that before. I was actually very proud of myself.”

He got the final badge in swimming. 

“After that, I was just kind of zooming through it and that was the only thing holding me back," Anthony said.

Now that he has earned Eagle Scout, he's headed to Midlands Tech this fall for college. 

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