Molly's Kids: Sept. 24- Brayden Monaco - | WBTV Charlotte

Molly's Kids: Sept. 24- Brayden Monaco

(Photo courtesy of Brayden's family) (Photo courtesy of Brayden's family)
(Photo courtesy of Brayden's family) (Photo courtesy of Brayden's family)
Benefit flier Benefit flier
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

This is dad Rob Monaco with his son, 4-year-old Brayden. Brayden battles MDS, a rare form of cancer of the blood. It's similar to leukemia, though starkly different.

Rob says he is a single dad with custody of his four children. Brayden is the youngest. He says Brayden has had a total of 31 transfusions, 11 infusions, 19 surgeries, 40 rounds of chemo and 12 hospital stays.

So much for such a young boy.

MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome) is the same type of cancer Robin Roberts (Good Morning America) recently fought and beat. All cancers are tough. This one in particular holds that description.

Brayden is holding out hope for a bone marrow transplant. He already had one in May of 2015. It was unsuccessful. His 7-year-old sister Bella was donor then; she'll be the donor again.

"2016 is Brayden's year," Rob says. "That's what we have to think. We are holding out hope this bone marrow transplant works."

Unfortunately, MDS is just one piece of Brayden’s journey. He was only born with one kidney, is non-verbal due to developmental delays and has been diagnosed with NF1 (Neurofibromatosis Type 1) and JXG (Juvenile Xanthrogranuloma). Because of these rare and long-named diseases, he has tumors that needed to be removed including one on his optic nerve.

While Levine’s Children’s Hospital is treating MDS, Rob says they won’t touch the tumor on the Optic Nerve. He'll get that removed at John’s Hopkins.

All these hospitals. All these treatments. Rob says medical bills are astronomical.

There is a benefit taking place on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at Buddy's Point Restaurant on East Franklin Street in Monroe. An auction, raffles, food, t-shirts... all family fun. It's from 1:30p-6pm.

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"30 Kids. 30 Stories. 30 Days." Each one so powerful in their own right. Each one real life. These kids need help in finding a cure... as you guys know by now, awareness is great. ACTION is what's needed.

#MollysKids 

**Editor's note: This is about one of #MollysKids in the month of September, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. This article was first published there – which is why it's written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed the stories of dozens of kids with uphill medical battles. During Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, she features one a day.  Thirty total. Find this story and updates on all of #MollysKids here.**

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