Chrissy Turner, an 8-year-old girl of Centerville, Utah, learner earlier this month that she has a rare form of breast cancer, a shocking discovery not only to her and her family, but to the doctors who said this is the youngest diagnosis they have ever seen.
The Turner family has dealt with cancer battles before. Annette, a personal trainer and holistic life coach, survived cervical cancer and her husband, Troy, a Desert Storm veteran, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when Chrissy was just a baby. However, the couple never thought their daughter would be diagnosed with cancer, especially not breast cancer. Annette’s and Troy’s 16-year-old daughter, Brianna, will soon be undergoing genetic testing due to her family’s cancers to see if she carries the same genes.
“She was our therapy when he was going through chemotherapy,” Annette said. “She was always making us laugh and she’s got the wit of someone far beyond her age.”
Annette said her 8-year-old daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer after she came to them in October and told them she felt a lump on her chest, and told them she was scared, according to Good 4 Utah.
Chrissy Turner will undergo a mastectomy next week — and she’s only 8 years old https://t.co/YxGk6PFtmQ
— New York Post (@nypost) November 25, 2015
“She came to us on a Sunday afternoon, she said, ‘Mommy I have been scared and I have this lump,’ ” Annette recalled. “It had been there for a while.”
Chrissy’s parents took her to see Dr. Brian Bucher, a general surgeon at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, who did the initial biopsy and lumpectomy. When they received the test results, they almost couldn’t comprehend what they were hearing. Not only did Chrissy have breast cancer, she had Secretory Carcinoma, which is an incredibly rare form of breast cancer, with only one in a million adults being diagnosed each year.
“It’s the first case I have ever seen of breast cancer this young,” Bucher told Today. “It’s more common among kids in adolescence, but before puberty is very strange.”
“She is the youngest that they’ve run acrossed having this particular type of breast cancer… I broke down,” Annette said. “It’s a struggle every day worrying about my family, about husband and now my baby girl.”
“No child should have to go through cancer.”
Chrissy has an intense battle ahead of her, which will start at the Huntsman Cancer Institute where she will undergo a mastectomy in early December, and then will recover at Primary Children’s Hospital.
— I Had Cancer. (@ihadcancer) November 25, 2015
While Chrissy admits she is scared, she says she knows she can beat the disease with the support of her family.
“I was scared the first time that I knew about it,” the Centerville Elementary third grader said. “But I knew that I could fight it off and I hope that I can fight it off.”
“We’re just going to keep fighting and doing everything we can to smile every day and laugh every day and carry our head high and do our best to overcome this,” Annette said.
To help with the growing medical bills, the Turner family has set up a GoFundMe page. Not only will the family have Chrissy’s medical bills, they are still paying for Troy’s bills, which forced them to file bankruptcy in 2013. So far, the family has raised $53,233 of their $100,000 goal.
“We are a very private family and this all happened so quickly,” Annette said. “But the outpouring of love and support has been humbling.”
“My husband and I just start crying when we look at the generosity of people and their well wishes,” she added. “We want to reach out and give back to them.”
[Photo via GoFundMe/Child Breast Cancer Fund]