They’re some of the hardest words a parent has to hear, “your child has cancer.”
And parents fighting the battle in the Ohio Valley tell us they pray no one ever has to deal with it.
“It felt like I got hit by a truck,” said one mom affected, Lori West. “It was horrible.”
From young ages these kids are forced to fight for their lives while their parents do all they can in their corner. We start our spotlight with four-year-old, Jaymasen Green, who began to limp after playing with his dog. A few days later, his mom saw something worrisome.
“He was getting out of the bathtub and my mom and I noticed like a little lump on his groin area,” Lori said. “My mom being a nurse, she knew, she just had a bad feeling.”
That bad feeling came true on February 2nd, 2016 when at the age of two Jaymasen was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a devastating blow to his mom, Lori.
“I was so mad for a little bit. I was like, ‘He’s mine you can’t have him,'” said Lori.
Today, Jaymasen is in the maintenance part of his treatment, which last three years from the date he was diagnosed. The always smiling youngster is just like a lot of other boys his age.
“I like to play with my new toys. Your toys? I have Batman, and the Hulk. He loves superheroes,” said Jaymasen and his mother. “The Captain America suit, and I got that. Yeah, your Captain America.”
Jaymasen, unfortunately, isn’t the only child that’s had to battle. Another kid who was also diagnosed at the age of two, and whose story is well known in the area, Hines Rotriga was diagnosed with a cancer called Neuroblastoma in December of 2013.
“It just tears you down,” said Hines’ mother Debbie Rotriga. “You go from not knowing anything basically to being thrown into hospital stays. Watching him go through the most horrible thing ever.”
Now, Hines isn’t quite cancer free but he has no evidence of the deadly disease.
“He enjoys school, and he’s active, I mean he’s got more energy than my husband and I combined,” Debbie said. “The doctors were making comments about if you had seen him two years ago after he had relapsed, to see him now it’s like two different kids.”
We also spoke with three other children and their parents, and will be bringing you the heart-wrenching stories of Leo, Autumn and Blaycen Thursday.