A Georgia family’s circumstances are really unbelievable and they are facing some unexpected situation after all three of their sons were diagnosed with the same type of cancer.
According to a GoFundMe page created by Aaron’s mom Jeanne Rush on the family’s behalf. Tristen Rush was just four weeks old when his parents, Aaron and Angie Rush, knew that he was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma in 2015.
But rush’s family did not expect what’s coming next, the Marietta parents welcomed two more boys after that year — Caison in 2017 and Carter in 2019 — and both were also diagnosed with eye cancer. The disease forms in the retina during early childhood.
Aaron and Angie are dealing with large medical expenses needed in treating three children battling cancer. Their family continuously asking for more funding for childhood cancer research, NBC affiliate WXIA-TV first reported.
“More funding would lead to fewer side effects, possibly less time for kids being in the hospital and more time for them to be kids,” Angie said, according to NBC affiliate WTHR. “Just more effective treatment, so they can get better.”
When Tristen was diagnosed in 2015, Aaron and Angie spent most time taking their son to the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta for monthly chemotherapy treatments, Evaluations Under Anesthesia (EUA), MRIs, and laser treatments, the GoFundMe stated.
After two years, they welcomed Caison but the baby was born with Retinoblastoma, which indicated “the cycle of treatments, EUAs and MRIs” to begin again, according to the GoFundMe.
The situation became worse this month when Carter who was born cancer-free in July 2019, diagnosed with two tumors in his eyes.
“They are about to embark on this cancer journey for the third time,” Jeanne wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Carter will begin 6 months of chemotherapy and continued laser treatments to keep the tumors at bay.”
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, researchers estimate that one-third of all retinoblastoma diagnoses are hereditary and caused by mutations in the RB1 gene, which is a tumor suppressor gene.
“The dangers are that the tumors can completely cover the eye in which you would have to remove your eye because you don’t want cancer to spread,” Angie told WTHR.
To deal with medical expenses, the Rush family had to sell their home and they moved in with relatives to save money, according to the GoFundMe. But, their struggle didn’t stop there, including meeting their insurance deductible just one month into the new year, WTHR reported.
“They’ve met it every year for the last five years,” Aaron’s mom, Jeanne, explained to the outlet. “They’ve sold their home and moved in with Angie’s parents to save money to pay for medical bills.”
Jeanne has also been traveling from her home in Crawfordsville, Indiana, to Atlanta to care for the boys, and she says their strength and courage is admirable.
“They are warriors,” Jeanne explained to WTHR. “I go with them to the hospital many times and they get IVs, they get drops in their eyes and they are just warriors.”
After selling their house, the Rush family relied on the GoFundMe page for financial assistance. Since it was created, the fundraiser has brought in over $10,000.
“…the ‘unknowns’ of dealing with cancer are stressful enough without the added financial stress associated with the numerous doctor visits, hospital stays, and missed time from work,” the page reads. “Please keep this family in your prayers as they face each new challenge associated with childhood cancer head-on.”
After dealing with all the problems the family is still feeling grateful that the treatments didn’t hurt Carter’s cheerful mood.
“The fact that he is happy most of the time and he’s just living his life is a wonderful blessing for him and us too,” Angie told WTHR.
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