A 14-year-old girl from Tennessee who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last year has gone into remission just in time to head home for Christmas.
Chloe Cress was just 12 years old when doctors discovered a massive tumor near her heart after she developed a limp that was soon joined by a fever and back pain, her family told CNN. By the time the cancer was discovered, it had already spread to other parts of her body.
Doctors told the family Chloe had alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that forms in the soft tissue of skeletal muscle, or in organs such as the bladder or uterus.
“It just scares the life out of you,” Chloe’s father, Shawn Cress, told the outlet of the diagnosis in June 2018. “You just think, ‘I’m gonna lose my kid.’ And it’s really helpless, because there’s nothing you can do.”
The family had to quickly relocate to Memphis so Chloe could continue treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, more than seven hours away from their home in Kingsport.
While Chloe was allowed to spend a brief amount of time at home last Christmas, she had to return to the hospital the very next day, and has spent most of her time at the facility since her diagnosis.
“I was worried about something happening to the whole family because of me,” Chloe told CNN. “I mean like money problems, and all sorts of things like that. Unable to have the same house that I grew up in, having my dogs, having everything I love that isn’t allowed to be at St. Jude.”
But this year’s Christmas will undoubtedly be one the family will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Last week, doctors told Chloe that after a nearly two-year-battle, her cancer had gone into remission.
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She’ll be returning home on Dec. 21, just four days before Christmas, and she won’t have to return to the hospital the next day. This time, she won’t be going back until her follow-up appointment three months from now.
A GoFundMe has been set up to raise money to treat Chloe and her family to an extra special holiday this year. It has raised over $1,500.
“This [Christmas] is more exciting,” Shawn told CNN of his daughter coming home after the long hospital stay, “because it’s for good.”