Super Gerald

(Story by Olivia Dimmer/MLive.com)

JACKSON, MI — Metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Three words 7-year-old Gerald Cleunion couldn't pronounce, but changed his life forever. 

"I thought I was going to throw up in the doctor's face," Maggie Cleunion, Gerald's mom, said. "I felt like my body was numb. It's like you're looking around trying to wake up because it just can't be happening."When the diagnosis finally came back, his parents were told the stage 4 cancer enveloped his legs, constricted parts of his spine and crushed the nerves in his bladder.

Maggie and her husband, Terry, were devastated.

"It's almost an out-of-body experience," Terry said. "All the sounds turn into muffles ... and it's horrific, because as a parent, your job is to protect your kids from everything."

But Terry, a former Consumers Energy lineman and farmer, and a tough-looking man who prided himself on his ponytail and beard, couldn't protect his son from this.

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