FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Trick-or-treating looks a little different this Halloween for a Fort Worth 6-year-old battling a rare form of cancer.
Her family is sharing her story in the hopes of finding others with the disease.
When Adriana Nixon started complaining of stomach pain in late June, her parents knew something was wrong. They never imagined they’d be dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
“She doesn’t get down a lot,” said her mom, Andrea Pederson. “We’re thankful for that. Our goal is to just make her happy and comfortable, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Even if it means trick-or-treating at Cook Children’s Hospital this year.
“She still wants to go tonight, but we’ll have to see,” Pederson said.
Adriana is on her fifth round of chemo. She wants to be doing all the normal things she used to, but beating hepatocellular carcinoma is the focus right now.
It’s an incredibly rare type of liver cancer. Studies show only about one child in a million is diagnosed with it each year.
“Based on what we’re being told, there may not be another child in Texas with this type of cancer,” said Pederson. “Possibly only a handful in the U.S.”
That makes navigating treatment options difficult since there’s no real roadmap to follow.
Adriana’s parents are desperate to hear from other families who have been affected by this so they can get a better idea of what treatment may work. So far, they haven’t been able to find anyone else dealing with this diagnosis.
“We want her to live the rest of her life,” said Lee Andrew Nixon, her father. “She’s got a long life ahead of her.”
Adriana’s family hopes the chemo will shrink her tumors enough that she’ll be eligible for a liver transplant. They say that’s her best chance to beat this.