It’s a fight that no parent ever expects they’ll have to go through, but in the Ohio Valley there are people who are battling every single day. And much like Hines and Jaymasen, these three kids are bravely doing just that.
“I think they do it a lot better than any other adult might.” said one cancer patient’s mom Natalie Zambori.
April 4th, 2015 is a day that will live in infamy for the family of, now, 6.5-year-old Leo Zambori. Who just over a year ago was diagnosed with Leukemia.
“There was a marked moment in our lives that there is now before this and after this,” Natalie said. “We never had that before, and so I hope no one ever has to experience something like that. I don’t think anybody can be prepared to hear that.”
Now the baseball-loving youngster is doing much better and is even getting some perks he didn’t have in 2016.
“I did home-bound instruction last year, and then this year I actually get to go to school,” said Leo.
“If you would have told us in April of 2016 that this is where we’d be right now,” said Natalie. “I probably would’ve said you’re crazy because it really feels like the rugs ripped out from under you as a family.”
Another family who had the rugs ripped out from under them is that of 3-year-old Blaycen Jeffers. Blaycen was misdiagnosed at birth with what they thought was a hernia, then after his mother, Abby, kept insisting on cat scans they realized it was much worse.
“He was diagnosed in August 2015 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, High Risk,” said Abby Hubbard, Blaycen’s mom.
Which was a terrifying moment for her, “I really thought he wasn’t going to make it, is what I thought. I really thought he was gonna…not make it because he needed a blood transfusion immediately and just thing after thing.”
Now, the well-behaved boy has No Evidence of Cancer but his mother is still worried.
“I still feel that he still probably has cancer in him honestly.”
Blaycen’s family are still very positive.
Our last spotlight is Autumn Wehr who at 8 months old wasn’t eating well and kept losing weight, then 3 months later she became sick and the doctors said they couldn’t find anything wrong. But at 14 months Autumn was down to just 14 pounds.
“We finally told the doctors she was walking, she was crawling and she had stopped,” Autumn’s mother, Carrie Wehr said. “By that time, they thought that it was just because she was so weak. Finally a doctor decided to check a cat scan of her brain and found a brain tumor.”
Autumn immediately had a brain surgery to remove the tumor, then was put on chemo for a year-and-a-half before getting to ring the bell that she was okay. But it wasn’t over there. After a year of being off chemo Autumn needed another brain surgery because the tumor came back with worse news
“It’s a battle for the rest of her life, she’s never going to get rid of it, she’ll never be cancer free,” said Carrie. “It’s a commitment we made for, hopefully, a very long time I’d like to have her around as long as we can.”
Despite the constant battle she’s fighting Autumn makes the most of it by always smiling and playing with, what else, but doctor toys.
“It’s all she’s ever known,” Carrie said.
Each parent tells us raising awareness is the key to helping these children affected by such a devastating disease.