When Lennox Allen was two years old, he started vomiting almost every morning.
His parents, Carly and Greg, were not concerned at first because their elder son, Austin had similar episodes while growing up.
But Lennox was becoming more lethargic and started walking with an unsteady gait. So finally they decided to take him to the hospital in Gainesville, Florida.
A CT scan done by doctors revealed that the toddler had a mass on his brain which a test confirmed was cancerous.
He was suffering from a typical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT), which is an extremely rare condition found in just 30 US children every year.
After several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, Lennox is now cancer-free.
Lennox’s mother, Carly, recently talked to DailyMail.com and told them that it became clear that his vomiting is not normal.
Carly said, ‘After throwing up, he would say: “Mom, I’m hungry, I want to eat cereal.” And I was like: “No one wants to eat after they’ve vomited”.’
Carly took Lennox to a pediatrician first, where he was prescribed an acid blocker.
But his father, Gary, took him to the emergency room at University of Florida Shands Pediatric emergency room.
ATRT is a rare and fast-growing cancer in which the tumor first grow in the brain and then spread to the spinal cord.
It’s usually caused by mutations in a gene called SMARCB1. Symptoms include loss of balance, headaches, nausea, sudden or abnormally fast head growth, and vomiting.
Carly said, ‘The tumor was devastating because I knew it would involve surgery and a long process, but there was hope it would be benign.’
‘When we found out it was like the worst kind that you could have, it was devastating. There were lots of nights I just cried. I thought I was going to lose my son.’
Adding to family’s stress: Carly got pregnant with the couple’s third child.
Lennox underwent surgery carried out by a pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr Lance Governale and he managed to resect all of the tumors.
ATRTs have a high risk of recurrence so the next steps were chemotherapy and radiation.
Lennox underwent five rounds of chemotherapy. Carly said, ‘He had vomiting and fevers and, when you’re immunocompromised, you can’t leave room.’
‘If a two-year-old could get depressed…he had his moments. But he still smiled.’
Meanwhile, Carly gave birth to her youngest son, Darren – luckily with no complications.
She recalls, ‘It was difficult managing my care and Lennox’s care. Mine took a back seat and I’m fine with that.’
Source – Daily Mail