McKenna Shea Xydias, 2 year-old-girl from Senoia, Georgia, who was diagnosed with a rare ovarian cancer on February 15, is now cancer-free.
Since being diagnosed with ovarian yolk sac tumor, the toddler, known to family and friends as “Kenni,” had four rounds of chemotherapy.
On June 12, parents Mike and Meagan Xydias received the news of their daughter’s clear bill of health from Dr. Katie Sutton, a pediatric oncologist for the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“Dr. Sutton came in — she just got straight to it and said, ‘Scans were clear. There’s nothing there,'” parents Mike and Meagan Xydias told “Good Morning America.” “We sat and cried and held each other for a minute.”
Speaking to GMA, Dr. Sutton said “She’s a rock star. She had no serious or unexpected side effects aside from requiring occasional blood transfusions.” She and her staff are hopeful Kenni will thrive from here on out.
Kenni’s parents discovered her tumor after they got an unusual phone call from her daycare.
In January, the two received a call while at work from Kenni’s daycare, saying that the 2-year-old was running a fever.
On Feb. 7, the parents got a call again. Administrators of the daycare said that Kenni’s stomach was bloated and she seemed uncomfortable.
“We took her to the doctor — at that point they thought it was gas so they told us to give her gas drops and let them know if she got any more fevers,” Xydias remembered.
A week later, Kenni was sent home again from daycare with a temperature of 102.
“The whole [next] day she was fine, no temperature,” Kenni’s dad said. “But she had difficulty using the bathroom. Meagan made an appointment for her February 14 in the afternoon. That day, daycare called. She had a fever of 103.”
Kenni’s mom, Meagan Xydias, brought Kenni to the pediatrician’s office, where they performed an X-Ray, but doctors weren’t entirely sure what was wrong her just yet.
“They said her bowels looked full and it looked like a big gas bubble,” Mike Xydias said. Meagan then took Kenni to the hospital shortly thereafter.
Doctors performed an ultrasound to get a better look at the “bubble.” Later, a CT and MRI determined there were several cancerous tumors around the toddler’s ovary— one was 14 centimeters long on her right ovary, another was by her liver and others scattered throughout her abdomen.
“The immediate reaction was, ‘How could this happen?'” Mike Xydias, said to GMA in February. “I knew of this being [more common] in women. I didn’t realize that it could happen to such a young child.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the childhood form of ovarian cancer is exceedingly rare and accounts for less than 5% of all ovarian cancer cases. And the tumors Kenni had, ovarian yolk sac tumors, are also unusual.
According to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, ovarian yolk sac tumor is a rare, malignant tumor of cells that line the yolk sac of the embryo. It’s most often found in children before the age of two. The cause is unknown.
Treatment depends on the stage and location of the tumor, Cincinnati Children‘s said on its website. If the tumor is in the ovaries, patients will undergo chemotherapy and surgery.
Kenni’s cancer at the time was stage three malignant. She had surgery to remove her right ovary as well as five inches of her small intestine.
Kenni began chemotherapy that involves three chemotherapy drugs, one that has fewer severe side effects than what is being used for chemotherapy treatment but may cause long-term hearing loss. Despite this risk, Kenni’s dad said her doctors are confident the girl’s tumors will respond to chemotherapy.
Neighborhood friends as well Xydias family in New York hosted fundraising events. The funds raised helped cover Kenni’s medical bills and supported her parents as they took leaves from their teaching jobs.
“We’ve been able to focus on her,” Meagan said. “It’s great to know people are praying for her. People that we do know and people we don’t know.
Now Kenni is cancer-free, the Xydias are sharing their advice with other parents.
Meagan Xydias said “There’s the medical aspect of ‘trust your gut when it comes to your or your child’s health’ and there’s the life aspect of, ‘enjoy every minute.”
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