KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) - Second to last child to feature this month was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer at 22-days old.
Imagine. She started six rounds of chemotherapy at 29 days old.
Aria Blackburn lives with her parents in Kannapolis. Her dad works at Food Lion headquarters in Salisbury and her mom is a UNC-Charlotte graduate from 2011.
Aria is fighting retinoblastoma. It's genetic. Her dad, Kevin, battled it as a child. Her dad's dad, Christopher, fought it as a child too. Aria is the third generation to fight in her family.
Since being diagnosed on week three of her life, Aria has known nothing except how to fight. She's now 11 months old and often traveling from Rowan County to Philadelphia – every month she goes to different Pennsylvania hospitals.
Having a newborn is exhausting regardless adding these obstacles.
Her parents stay upbeat.
"One of the doctors administered chemo directly into her right eye," mom Krista says. "It's just nuts to say. But all three of these hospitals we visit and her team of doctors have made it possible for my little girl to now have vision."
Aria is not yet cancer-free. However, at the last exam she had no more active tumors. She returns to Philly at the end of October.
"We're praying Aria remains stable," Krista said. "We are paying for no new tumor growth."
We're with you, Krista. Your daughter is beautiful.
Tomorrow marks 30 kids. Can you believe all these children are in our back yard?