7-year-old girl from Washington County battling rare form of cancer

BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. — A 7-year-old Washington girl is fighting a form of cancer so rare, she’s one of very few people with it in the world.

Braelyn Gordon was diagnosed with Astroblastoma in January, after having surgery to remove a tumor found on her spine

Mom, Nautica Bennett, says they had multiple doctors try and figure out why Braelyn was having trouble walking.

“We didn’t start getting really worried until she started falling down when she’d stand up,” Nautica said. “She had a hard time bending her back. She started walking sideways and hunched over.”

Finally, an MRI at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh discovered the tumor on her spine.

“Astroblastoma is a cancer that is normally found in the brain, it is considered rare, hers is a rare case also because it’s in her spinal cord.”

Grandmother, Ja’Net Franell immediately got to work researching, and the results were discouraging.

“To research it and see that only maybe three other people that I can find have it in the location she has it in and no one as young as her.”

This week Braelyn had her 30th and final round of radiation. She will have scans done at the end of the month to determine what course of action is next. She’s also in therapy almost every day of the week, learning to walk again.

“They’ve never treated anyone with this before... so in my mind there’s no blueprint. my granddaughter is the blueprint,” Franell said. But it doesn’t stop me from being hopeful and asking people to pray. People have reached out, mainly strangers, they’ve been amazing.”

If you know anyone who has this diagnosis, you can reach out to the family on their Facebook page.

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