4-year-old bounces back after ‘unusual’ cancer diagnosis

Four-year-old Christian Fain turns around with a grin and falls straight back into the swimming pool where his mother is waiting to catch him.

"You want to spin?" says his mother, Kerri as he splashes in the water.

This little boy's life spun in an unexpected direction one year ago.

"It was June 2018 and he went to bed, took a nap and woke up with a nickel-size knot on the right side of his neck."

At first, Kerri thought it was not a big deal.

Christian saw a doctor who recommended antibiotics and rest, but those swollen lymph nodes just kept growing.

"They were humongous, the biggest was that long," says Kerri as she indicates a length over an inch with her fingers.

"You could see them from across the room," confirms Dr. Abhishek Bavle from Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer.

It took a few months before Christian was referred to the clinic, and doctors here were able to pinpoint the diagnosis as Hodgkins Lymphoma.

"Hodgkins Lymphoma is a common blood cancer or lymph node cancer in teens," says Dr. Bavle, "but it's unusual for a four-year-old to get Hodgkins."

Fortunately, chemotherapy had an almost magic-wand effect.

His mother recalls, "He looked like he had golf balls embedded in his neck.  But by the first round, he had a normal neck again."

With his lymph nodes shrinking dramatically, Christian felt better and his energy returned.

He now enjoys seeing his favorite nurses and taking part in activities like art therapy for his return visits to Jimmy Everest.

"It's been heaven sent," says Kerri Fain. "The nurses are amazing."

Dr. Bavle says, "Christian is a very sweet four-year-old, and like four-year-olds, he's a bundle of energy."

He says as cancers go, treatment for Hodgkins only takes a few rounds of chemotherapy and the survival rate is 98 percent.

Everyone is glad that this little fireball from Durant is back to his old self, ready to plunge back into a normal childhood.

If you'd like to help children like Christian fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org

'Kids with Courage' is sponsored by the Jimmy Everest Center. 

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