This year, a Tennessee teen is receiving the best Christmas present ever. She will get to celebrate the holidays at home after spending more than 500 days in the hospital receiving treatment for an extremely rare cancer.
“It’s surreal. You just can’t describe how happy you are,” the teen’s father, Shawn Cress, told WCYB.
In June 2018, Chloe Cress, 12, began experiencing back pain. Since she was also limping, she went to the hospital where it was discovered that she had a mass in her chest.
She was flown from the hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee to St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis. It was there that she received the horrible news, Chloe had a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
“In the beginning, you just hear stage 4 and think ‘Oh my God, my daughter has stage 4 cancer,’” Shawn said.
Chloe and her father have lived at St. Jude’s for the past 18 months.
From radiation to multiple rounds of chemotherapy to eight procedures to correct a complication with her esophagus, Shawn has been by his daughter’s side the entire time.
The family found it difficult to adjust to living at the hospital in the beginning, but Shawn said that once Chloe realized she was going to receive treatment that had the potential to heal her, she settled in.
Now, more than 500 days after Chloe was diagnosed with cancer she’s getting to go home, and not only that but she’s free of cancer.
“Thank God my daughter has beat cancer. It’s just crazy. It’s been so long, and you lose hope along the way, but it’s finally over. It’s surreal. You just can’t describe how happy you are. You kind of just keep going through the treatment and wonder when we’re gonna get there.”
How does Chloe plan to spend the holidays at home?
The first thing she wants to do is spend time with her family and dogs.
A GoFundMe has also been set up to help give Chloe the best Christmas ever.
This is a wonderful Christmas gift. I can’t imagine any present could ever top being told you’re cancer-free and you get to go home.