After overcoming ovarian cancer, Lacey Collins was told she would never be able to have children. So when she learned she was pregnant with her little boy, Jayce, she was thrilled. Jayce was her little miracle who came along when she least expected it.
Our TV campaigns have always taken us into a world of unscripted medical drama. But in the midst of documenting the present moment, we don’t always get to see how the story ends. This year, five children invited us to walk with them on the other side of “better.” They let us into their post-treatment check-ups, their homes and their lives. We, unavoidably, let them into our hearts. And even gave a few cameras of their own.
When you meet Katherine, you’ll be immediately drawn in by her vivacious personality, seemingly endless energy, and love for dance and performing. What you won’t notice are the 15 procedures she’s had on her heart, all before turning 12.
In April 2011, 7-year-old Mackenzie started to hear a loud beeping in her ear. After several tests, Dr. Roger Hudgins, an Akron Children’s Hospital neurosurgeon, discovered that Mackenzie had a brain tumor referred to as a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma. Once Dr. Hudgins removed the benign tumor, the hard work began.
By the time Peightyn was born, she had already received three blood transfusions. That’s because at 26-weeks pregnant, her mom, Ashleigh, developed antibodies against her unborn baby’s blood type, which caused Peightyn’s organs to swell and her body to begin to shut down.
In high school, Ryan was an honor student, excellent shot put and discus thrower, as well as a star football player sought after by many Division I colleges. But the football dreams he had since he was a little boy were sidelined during his junior year when Akron Children’s doctors discovered why he had been experiencing knee pain – cancer.