Family seeks help for Eufaula infant with rare cancer

Family seeks help for Eufaula infant with rare cancer

EUFAULA, AL (WTVM) – An east Alabama child is in a fight for her life. Auburn Grace,2, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2014, and her mother is hoping new therapies will help her.

Suzanne Thomas, Grace's mother, says her daughter is the fourteenth patient diagnosed with Primitive Myxoid Mesenchymal Tumor of Infancy. When she was first diagnosed, Grace was too young for radiation, so the Doctor recommended surgery.

After eight surgeries the cancer kept coming back, so the family started chemotherapy.

Grace's mother says that some of the side effects include loss of hair, weakness of limbs, nausea and fatigue.

“The chemo it was a little bit of a success it did shrink the tumor small enough so that we can try something new,” and that something new is radiation according to Thomas.
Now that her daughter is a little older, doctors say she can try radiation.

Beginning on Aug. 23, Grace will undergo six weeks of proton beam radiation, three hours a day, five days a week. Radiation is usually a last resort for children because it not only destroys cancerous cells, but it can also damage normal cells as reported by

Thomas says radiation won't be the end of Auburn's rehabilitation. Even after they beat the cancer, Grace will continue to go through physical therapy to help strengthen her legs.

"She wears braces on her legs due to the numerous amounts of surgery. It left her weak. The tumor was on her spine and it was pressing down for a long time before we discovered what was going on, causing nerve damage to her legs, leaving her paralyzed. She actually just started back walking this year." Thomas said.

The traveling expenses to Jacksonville for Grace's radiation treatment will need to be paid for "out-of-pocket" and the family is asking for the community's support. Contributions can be made on to the family's gofundme account.

Copyright WTVM 2015. All rights reserved.