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Rare cancer hits young Flathead Girl

CALISPELL – It's a parent's worst nightmare.

Tina Tobiason and her husband Nicholas Tobiason noted strange bruises on their four-year-old daughter Kensley's body in May.

"They weren't common bruises and they were spreading all over the body and when I was to feel the bruises they would have some slits on them. And it was just very bizarre," said Tina.

Thinking that it can only be usually growing pain, or the children playing roughly in school, called Tina Kensley's school teacher to ask if the children were rough-haired during the day.

When Kensley's teacher said no, Tina and Nick took Kensley to the doctor's office and after a number of different tests they got one diagnosis that they never thought they would hear in a million years.

"Looking at the test results from earlier today, they had come to the same conclusion that we said we do not necessarily want to alarm you, but we think we can really do cancer, Nicholas explained.

Kensley was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia [1

9659009] a cancer that rarely occurs in children.

  Young Kalispell Cancer Patient
Kensley was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a cancer that rarely occurs in children. (MTN News photo)

MTN Nerws spoke to Dr. Carrie LaBorde of Kalispell Regional Medical Center who said that CML is found in only 3% of all childhood cancers and there are less than 500 cases in the country a year.

She says that CML is different from other cancers of the genetic marker found on the patient's white blood cells.

"And they said chronic myelogenous leukemia and I were just like wow, my heart just dropped, how could it happen to us?" Tina recalled.

With the shocking news, Kensley and Tina flew to Colorado for more tests and left Tobiason's two other children at home.

"Now I have to be mum all at the same time. It was phone calls saying that you know that this is what happens in the family, will not be able to enter the job you know we have things going and must take ours. oldest to school yet and take care of our 1½ years, "Nicholas said.

Thankfully, Kensley's cancer can be treated locally in Kalispell with an oral pill. Tina solves Kensley's medicine in apple juice, so it is easier for her to swallow.

Kensley responds well to treatment with white blood cells that return to normal.

Tina said that when Kensley was first diagnosed, her white blood cell count was close to 500,000 with the normal amount hovering around 12,000. Kensley's current white blood cell count is increasing around 9,000.

It's not the end of the road for Kensley because it Rare pediatric cancer does not have a clear long-term treatment plan.

Dr. LaBorde told MTN News that there are studies conducted all over the country to see how long this oral treatment plan lasts and whether Kensley could finally stop taking the drug.

The doctor's continued monitoring of Kensley's health, but for now she is on her way to remission.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to offset some of Tobiason's costs, while Kensley continues the treatment.

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