Pediatric Patient with Rare Genetic Disorder Receives Cancer Diagnosis
Keep your mind open to options and hold onto hope that things are going to get better.
When Myah was just one year old, she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue. After discovering proton therapy through another parent’s journey, Myah’s North Texas family traveled weekly for their baby to receive proton therapy in Houston. After a successful course of treatment, Myah was in remission when her father passed away from lung cancer. Shortly after the tragedy of losing her husband, Myah’s mother Yesenia had her children participate in genetic testing, which analyzes DNA to detect specific, inheritable, disease-related gene mutations that may increase the risk of certain cancers. They found that Myah had a rare genetic disorder called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, which increased her risk of developing cancer more than once.
At age 11, it happened again. Myah was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. The tumor wrapped around her cervical spine causing mobility issues. Her family was again faced with researching treatment options. Yesenia recognized the benefits of proton therapy in protecting Myah’s healthy, growing tissue, but this time, instead of traveling, they were able to schedule an appointment at Texas Center for Proton Therapy in Irving – a blessing to be nearby, she said. After several weeks of proton therapy, Myah completed treatment in July of 2021, at age 12.
While her condition does not allow her to attend school, Myah keeps a positive attitude and loves all things beauty-related and spending time on the social platform TikTok, as many 12-year-olds do. Her mother’s advice to any parents who find themselves in a similar situation is to “keep your mind open to options and hold onto hope that things are going to get better.”
A cancer diagnosis can be challenging. At Texas Center for Proton Therapy, pediatric patients and their families are connected with a child life specialist, an expert in child development. From nurses to radiation oncologists, the entire center is staffed with young patients in mind.
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The information included in this testimonial is based on one patient’s unique experience and is not intended to represent all patient outcomes or expectations.