CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - September 4th:
Cashlin Izzard is a 10-year-old in Lancaster County who has gone through heart disease, a transplant, kidney issues and beaten a rare cancer.
“I knew something was wrong when he complained of side pain in May of 2017,” mom Yameika said. “I just didn’t know what. I had no idea we’d find a rare and serious cancer. But, we did. He was admitted to the hospital on Mother’s Day.”
Cashlin was diagnosed with PTLD, which means posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease. It’s a type of cancer that can affect transplant patients, though usually in the first year after a transplant. Cashlin’s didn’t show until five years after his heart transplant. And Cashlin’s case, doctors say, was especially severe.
“I thought, ‘I’m really going to lose him this time,’” Yameika says. “What child has a heart transplant and cancer? How can you hope one child survives both?”
Plus, there's more.
Levine Children's Hospital says when it comes to Cashlin, conventional medications and chemo didn’t work as they do for most people with PTLD. His kidney started to fail, his skin sloughed off and he started having hallucinations.
Which means in almost no time, this baseball-and-basketball-loving boy went from a sports fanatic elementary school kid, to a very sick cancer patient.
Because Cashlin’s case was so unique, the medical team tried a newly-approved cancer treatment drug called brentuximab. They say he was the first ever patient at Levine’s to receive it.
After months of hand-wringing and uncertainty, Cashlin finally broke through. The treatment worked. The treatment worked! His cancer was in remission, his kidney was healthy and his heart to this day remains stable.
His last treatment was last October. And now, 11 months later, he’s a 5th grader at McDonald Green Elementary, and back doing what he loves: Playing baseball and shooting hoops.
*Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.