Amarillo, TX - An area child battles cancer for the second time. In this week's "Health Watch," NewsChannel 10's Michelle Langowski gives us an inside look at the daily challenge she battles in her fight against cancer.
Childhood cancer affects about one in every 3,000 kids. Seven year old Kaylee Rider is one of them. Meeting her, you wouldn't know the battle she courageously fights everyday as she tries to beat cancer, again. Kaylee "OK I'm ready."
Kaylee has Wilm's tumor, a type of kidney cancer that has progressed into her lungs.
Every Tuesday Kaylee and her mom spend the afternoon at Texas Tech Pediatrics.
"In the mornings we wake up and put numbing cream on her port, so when they go to poke it, it won't hurt as bad. And then we come up here and they activate her port and take the blood work and then we will go and hangout until they give us her counts. Then we will come back and get chemo," says her mom, Rachel.
But Kaylee isn't letting cancer stand in her way. Her mom adds,"she is what helps me through it. She smiles everyday and is happy. Nothing really gets her down. She does have her tired moments, but she is my hero I guess." "I didn't want to have to do it all over again cause it makes me feel weird and I don't like it," says Kaylee. Michelle asks "but you know it's going to make you get better?"
Dr. Curtis Turner says the risk of cancer in the first fifteen years of life is higher than most would expect. But their age does have a few benefits. Most younger children are not as aware of all that is going on. "Most children cope with it pretty well. At the initial point you have to have to worry if they feel guilty or that they're being punished and you have to explain that to them. That it just happened. And parents have some guilt too that they may have caused it," says Dr. Turner.
"They are so much better than any adult. Kids just handle it a lot better and she is so happy all the time and it kind of makes it easier on you," says Rachel. About 80% of children with cancer are long-term survivors and have no life-long complications from treatments.
As the Rider family takes life one day at a time, Rachel dreams of the day her little girl will be cancer-free. "I want to have more fun and spend a lot of family time and not worry about masks and medicine and doctor's appointments...and go out of town. I'd like to go out of town. Just have some fun!"
Kaylee has five more chemo treatments left, then she says she is looking forward to her hair growing back and getting the lizard her parents promised her.