FIGHT FOR LIFE: Cameron teen battling rare form of cancer - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

FIGHT FOR LIFE: Cameron teen battling rare form of cancer

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Cameron (WQOW) - It's been less than a year since a Cameron teen was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. His unique and upbeat personality is getting him through the fight for his life. 

Denver, Cash and Campbell, they're just a few of the artists in 13-year-old Brody Hellendrung's record collection.  An ear for the classics isn't the only thing that sets Brody apart from others his age. He says, "Some days are good, some day are bad."

Last summer Brody had his gall bladder removed after severe pains alerted doctors it wasn't functioning. During the surgery doctors discovered white lesions in his abdomen and referred him to Mayo Clinic in Rochester

Jill Hellendrung, Brody’s mom, says, "She was very honest with me and looked point blank at me and said this is the most cancer I've ever seen in a kid.

Brody says, “For awhile I would pinch myself every now and then, thinking if I pinch myself hard enough, I'll wake up."

Jill says, "It's DSRCT or Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors, very rare and there's no cure. She looked right at me and said if you don't get any treatments you're looking at months with Brody. With treatments you're looking at 2 to 4 years."

In September Brody started an aggressive form of chemotherapy. "So after we finished the 9 treatments we went to MD Anderson in Texas. They go in they cut him from his breast bone to his pelvic bone and they open him up and the doctor, she looks at every single organ and removed every possible tumor she can see," explains Jill. They removed 169 tumors. 

Since then Brody's been through radiation and currently has no evidence of disease. But unlike other cancers, they can't call it remission.  Jill says, "When it comes back it seems there are not many that have rebounded and went and gone no evidence of disease after.

"I don't know how much time I'm going to have left with him. I hope it's for a long time, I hope I get to see him grow up and do awesome things. But, I don't know. I have no idea," says Jill.  


And while there are many unknowns, Brody has one goal in mind. He says, "I want to be the first Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor patient to be cured."

The family says they are very grateful for all the community members who have rallied around Brody. There is a benefit for him this Saturday at the Cameron Fire Hall. It's called BrodyFest

It’s from noon to 1am. There will be a live band, DJ, BBQ chicken dinner, a raffle and games. Anyone is welcome to go. 

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