Local nine year old battles rare liver cancer


By Meladi Brewer


GREENVILLE — A local nine-year-old is battling a rare liver cancer.

Childhood is living carefree with genuine happiness completely unbothered about life and hardships it will bring. It is a time to explore, experiment, and be free to run around creating memories, but for Charlyee-Jo, those carefree memories have been put on hold due an unexpected diagnosis.

Charlyee-Jo, a student at Greenville Elementary, was diagnosed with liver cancer called an undifferentiated Embryonal Sarcoma of the Liver (UESL), and she has been undergoing chemo at Dayton’s Children’s Hospital. recently she has started losing her hair. UESL is extreamly rare in children, with only 8,000 known cases worldwide.

“There were not very many warning signs,” her mother, Crystal Severance said. “About four months ago she complained of pains in her “belly” but we just assumed it was a stomach bug or something she ate.”

Severance said Charlyee-Jo’s pain went away within a couple days, and the only other indicators was an increase in fatigue and a decrease in some weight.

“We really didn’t have many signs or symptoms. She was sleeping a little more and had lost some weight,” Crystal said. “During a field day at school I noticed her abdomen under her ribs was distended and rounded out. That area was very hard to the touch which made us bring her into the emergency room.”

Little did they know that that emergency room visit would change the course of their lives. Crystal said it is important for people to be aware that not all cancers have warning signs.

“If your child makes a complaint, please listen to them and bring them in, even if you go in and nothing is wrong, at least you know they are ok. And can continue to go on as normal,” Crystal said.

Before the tests came back, Charlyee-Jo loved being “a typical little girl”, as she has many friends that she misses being able to play and socialize with.

“She likes playing Pokémon Go, creating art and being outside at parks and area hiking to waterfalls and nature viewing,” Crystal said. “Most of all, she loves all animals but especially cats and foxes.”

In school she was involved with LifeWise Academy, Boys and Girls Club of America and was entering her third year in 4H. When the tests came back, they show a 12 cm tumor affecting most of her liver. But there is a positive lining, as the cancer has not appeared to have spread.

“The cancer is localized to the liver tumor only, the tumor had effected three of the four quadrants of her liver and was about 12cm in size,” Crystal said. “It hasn’t spread, that we are aware of, and it hasn’t affected any other organs.”

The plan moving forward is to finish the second round of chemotherapy, do scans to see if the tumor went down in size, and if it has, the doctors in Cincinnati will evaluate if the tumor has moved off of the arteries. If it has moved off the arteries and the blood supply is enough, they will try and remove the tumor. If chemo has not shrunk the tumor, they will decide if more rounds of chemo are necessary or if they will need to do a transplant.

“I would like people to know that cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence. Advances in technology and medicines have made defeating cancers possible,” Crystal said. “As parents of a nine-year-old, I heard cancer and had a reaction most would expect and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions: doubt, fear, worry and guilt.”

Instead of staying in those thoughts, Crystal and her family have tried to focus on the positives: hope, faith, and strength while enduring this uphill battle.

“We also continue to be a source of encouragement for Cj because her fight is our fight, and we won’t let her fight alone! #CJStrong,” Crystal said.

The family is asking for help in this trying time.

“We are asking for prayers as our family has a lot of faith and hope,” Crystal said. “We also need help funding for work loss, travel and everyday living expenses involved with our plan of treatment. Our go fund me is “Support Charlyee Jo’s battle with rare cancer.”

If you would like to donate, visit gofund.me/30093928.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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