Meet Kenni, a ‘Little Spitfire’ Who’s Cancer-Free

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Editor's note: The household posted bully quality successful May 2021. They said tests showed Kenni has "no grounds of disease." And present she needs to get tested lone doubly a twelvemonth alternatively of each different month.

Her parents telephone her sassy, spunky. They accidental she's a tomboy who likes to tally astir with her older brothers and roughhouse. And astatine lone 2 years of age, McKenna Xydias is simply a cancer survivor.

“She perfectly is the strongest idiosyncratic that we know,” says Michael Xydias, her father.

Kenni, arsenic her parents telephone her, seldom lets thing dilatory her down. This summertime she's getting backmost to afloat velocity arsenic she recovers from ovarian cancer, a illness that young girls seldom get.

Late past year, astir the clip the Xydias household moved into a caller location successful Georgia, Michael says Kenni was getting “off-again, on-again sick with fevers -- for truthful agelong that we kept taking days disconnected work.” His wife, Meagan, had a gut feeling thing was precise wrong. She asked Kenni's doctors to tally much tests, and her suspicions were yet confirmed. Kenni had a malignant germ-cell tumor -- the benignant known arsenic a “yolk sac.” It was signifier III cancer, and it had dispersed from her ovary to her abdomen and pelvis.

Katie Sutton, MD, treated Kenni. She's a pediatric oncologist for the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center astatine Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Sutton says fever is 1 grounds of an ovarian yolk sac tumor. A much communal motion is belly pain, which tin beryllium little oregon ongoing, she says. The stomach whitethorn besides look bigger than usual, oregon uncomfortably bloated -- a grounds Kenni's day care noticed connected 1 occasion. Since these tin beryllium signs of less-serious problems, Sutton recommends that you speech to your child's pediatrician astir immoderate symptoms that interest you -- and don't skip well-child checkups, she says.

After Kenni was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, surgeons removed her close ovary and respective inches of her tiny intestine. Because her illness was much advanced, she besides got chemotherapy.

“It's precise hard to explicate to a 2-year-old what's going on,” says her father, Michael. “But she afloat understood successful her ain way. And we made it much due for her.”

He says Kenni went done attraction “like a champ,” facing challenges with a smile. “She mightiness not person been blessed astatine that nonstop moment, but a mates minutes aboriginal ... she'd flip a power and hide that she was hooked up to each these antithetic machines -- and she conscionable wanted to play.”

A parent's love, attention, and willingness to reply their child's questions are important during treatment, Sutton says. “Kids thrive connected routine. While crab is simply a immense disruption of anyone's routine, seeking retired pieces of their lives that tin beryllium mean during attraction and past returning to their regular activities aft therapy is implicit tin beryllium a immense help,” she says.

During their enactment successful the infirmary with Kenni, Michael and Meagan Xydias besides had to find a mode to support their 2 sons' lives arsenic mean arsenic possible. To bash that, they gratefully accepted assistance from loved ones and different radical successful their community.

“The boys continued to person schoolhouse and shot practice, and household and friends stepped up and took them wherever they needed to go, brought them wherever they needed to be, fed them,” Michael says. “It has been wholly uplifting and supportive for america arsenic a household to beryllium capable to get done this with each of that emotion and support.”

Now that Kenni is done with her attraction and cancer-free, she and her household tin commencement looking guardant to the future. Sutton expects the small miss to bash great. “Her accidental of remaining escaped from germ compartment tumor is astir 95%,” she says.

Kenni volition spell backmost to time attraction adjacent year, Michael says. In the meantime, Sutton and the remainder of her aesculapian squad volition beryllium watching Kenni's wellness intimately with checkups, blood tests, and imaging scans. Once she's aged enough, it would beryllium bully for her to larn much astir the illness she overcame, Sutton says.

“When kids are arsenic young arsenic Kenni erstwhile they spell done treatment, it's important to amended them passim their lives astir their crab and their therapy truthful they tin beryllium lifelong advocates for their health,” she says.

For now, the Xydias household is celebrating Kenni's recovery. But they're besides keeping successful caput the things they learned from their months of heartache. “It truly showed america to bask each small infinitesimal that you get, due to the fact that you don't cognize what's going to travel next,” Michael says. “So conscionable bask what you person successful beforehand of you. Be blessed with it.”

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