A child is the first in the world to have a rare form of cancer spreading through his body, but he has a fighting chance thanks to innovative treatment.
Reef Carneson, 12, has a life-threatening cancer that normally progresses slowly, confined to the skin, and is seen in adults who have spent years in the sun without sunscreen.
He was first diagnosed with advanced squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) in 2015, but a chemotherapy cream appeared to have mostly cured him by 2019.
Sadly, the skin cancer was found to have spread to the bones of his skull and brain in 2020.
Just days after Reef and his family were told to say goodbye after the cancer was found to have spread to his lungs, doctors made the decision to offer Reef another chance at life with a new treatment.
This therapy has never been used in children anywhere in the world to combat this form of cancer, and Reef’s unusual case makes him the first child to undergo Cemiplimab, a programmed receptor-1 (PD-1) blocking antibody that teaches the patient’s body immune system to recognize cancer cells as not part of them and harmful.
Reef, who has lived with immune complications after beating leukemia as a baby, has continued to fight and his proud mother, Lydia Carneson, said he is responding well to treatment, which began May 7.
The mom of three said, “It’s amazing. He is stable and we believe the treatment is working … We feel incredibly blessed at this time. We believe it is a thousand times greater miracle. “
Meanwhile, Reef has mentioned that he has three wishes: have a pet duck, go to the mall, and go camping.
He now has two ducks named Donald Duck and Daisy. He visited the Metro Center shopping center in Newcastle on a VIP experience: five stores invited him to choose what he wanted, with no budget limit.
“He is so humble that he chose a lot of ducks, candy and balloons,” said his mother.
Here at GNN, we wish Reef and his family a wonderful camping trip as soon as possible.
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