Deer Creek babies born with cancerPublished 11:36am Thursday, September 26, 2013
One of the rarest occurrences in the world is being experienced by Lynsey and Casey Maloney of Deer Creek.
Within minutes of delivery, Jace, one of two boys delivered by c-section Aug. 12, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system, after the doctor found a mass in his abdomen. He was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
Because the twins had shared a placenta, Gage was given a preventative ultra-sound the next morning and tumors were found on his liver. He also was airlifted to Children’s Hospital.
To help the family with expenses incurred with the hospitalization of the twins, a spaghetti supper benefit is planned from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Deer Creek Community Center. A silent auction is also planned, with a week’s stay at Ethel Beach Resort, among the items for sale.
Performing live music will be the Hungry, Hungry Hippies from Battle Lake.
There were no indications the boys would have health issues. Lynsey, who was a home health worker and sold Norwex products, had experienced an uneventful pregnancy, though she had been on bed rest since early May because of the risk of an early delivery.
During those months prior to delivery of the boys, the family, including 20-month-old Savannah, the Maloney’s daughter, stayed with Lynsey’s mom who cared for the toddler.
A c-section was arranged for early Aug. 12, and Gage arrived first, weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces and 19 inches long; Jace arrived minutes later and weighed 6 pounds 1 ounce and was 19.5 inches long.
Upon Jace’s entry into the world, a golf-ball-sized tumor was found in his abdomen. The next day tumors were found on Gage’s liver.
The identical twins are the 10th documented case in the world of twins born with cancer. Doctors suspect that Jace’s primary tumor metastasized to his liver as well as Gage’s liver through the placenta.
“We have been very overwhelmed with just everything,” said Lynsey on their twins’ Caring Bridge web site two days after the boys were born. “We never expected anything like this to happen. This has been so difficult for us.”
The next few days were spent meeting doctors who determined a course of treatment for the boys, which would include eight cycles of chemotherapy over a course of six months. At 10 days old, the boys were administered their first round of chemo.
The prognosis is good, according to Lynsey. Based on her research and what doctors have said, the survival rate is 80- to 90-percent when the cancer is found in the first year of life.
The boys are doing well, gaining weight and “being normal babies,” Lynsey said, who is staying at Ronald McDonald House, indicating last night that Jace may be discharged Sunday. When the boys are receiving chemo, they stay with their mom at Ronald McDonald House.
The past couple of months, Savannah has been staying with Casey’s grandmother, whom she adores, said Lynsey. There have been a few visits in Minneapolis, but having her with her parents is just not feasible right now, she said. Casey works four days a week at Lunds, traveling to Minneapolis on the weekends.
The separation and the medical issues have been overwhelming, said Lynsey, but the support of family, friends and the community has given them strength, she said.
“We are overwhelmed with all of the support from everyone near and far, and let me tell you, we feel it in our hearts,” she said. “We have people praying from all over the U.S., and sending us their well wishes. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are amazed at everyone from the community, financially and emotionally.”
To follow the twins’ journey, visit their Caring Bridge site at caring bridge.com, gageandjacemaloney.