Girl, 10, continues fight against rare childhood cancer - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Girl, 10, continues fight against rare childhood cancer

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Riley Jennings Riley Jennings
Riley's parents shaved their heads as a show of support. Riley's parents shaved their heads as a show of support.

A 10-year-old girl struck by a cancer rarely seen in children is responding to a rare treatment.

Clint Jennings comforted his daughter, Riley, in the fight of her life against cancer. Riley had just returned from getting X-rays at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.

"I did an ultrasound on my arms and on my stomach," Riley said.

"Just ups and downs. Reality is that this disease that she has is really trying to take her," Clint said.

Dr. Baseem Razzouk is treating Riley for a cancer rarely found in children.

"Gastric carcinoembryonic antigen. This tumor is very common in adults. But in children, it accounts for only 0.5 percent of all childhood cancers," Razzouk said.

"Things are so much different from when I look at her a month ago, a month-and-a-half ago," Clint said.

Eyewitness News first met Riley about a month ago before she started chemotherapy. Knowing she would lose her hair, Riley's parents shaved their heads, too.

Although Dr. Razzouk is arranging to help to cover the expense of the medicine. The Jennings family is financially overwhelmed, but are keeping their faith.

"Obviously, Jesus has his hands on this. We are battling. From the results we got today, it looks like we are winning," Clint said.

"The tumor in the stomach has shrank around 10-15 percent, which is very welcome news," Razzouk said. "She will be the first patient that we know of who is a child with gastric cancer who received this drug Herceptin in addition to chemotherapy."

Razzouk just released Riley to go home. He wants her to have a normal life as possible. Believe it or not, Riley just got back from summer camp.

"Got to do zip line, archery and we got to shoot rifles," Riley said.

Despite an unsure outcome, social media has allowed family, friends and even strangers to join the battle in Riley's fight.

Adults with this type of cancer have about an eight-month life expectancy, but the new treatment may increase Riley's life much longer.

Thanks to their Facebook page called "Riley's Fight," the family has received donations towards the hospital bills from people around the world.

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