PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The statistics are staggering; according to cancer.org, more than 10,000 children in the United States under the age of 15 were diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
A child in Pulaski County is battling an extremely rare form of cancer, that has progressed to stage 4.
Today is a good day for 2-year-old Grayson Reed. Grayson's good days aren't taken for granted anymore.
In May, doctors found a tumor behind his right eye. He was diagnosed with a fast-growing, aggressive and extremely rare form of cancer that is now in his head, brain and lungs.
"I didn't think it was real. I'm going to start crying," said Linsey Reed, Grayson's mom.
Grayson is one of only four children in the U.S. fighting this form of cancer--a fight that involves weekly chemo treatments that last two hours.
"He's on a 54-week aggressive chemo plan, he is going to have to have radiation, and he will have to have brain surgery," said Reed.
It's a tough fight that the 2-year-old is taking in stride. His family is doing its best too. Grayson's dad works hard to support his medical needs, his mom cares for him throughout the day, and his 5-year-old brother, Bryson, is staying with relatives in West Virginia to make sure Grayson's immune system isn't compromised.
"Nobody prepares you for what all you need. He has to have tubes for his feeding tubes, the bags, the ports. He's on 14 different medications. You have to get those refilled all the time," said Reed.
These days, the Reed family is holding tight to the good news. Grayson's cancer has stopped growing for now.
"They have given him a 20 percent success rate over it, but it's a five-year span. So we have hope to go on," said Reed.