TAMPA, Fla. - July 23, 2017 was the day Bhavana Patel and Kenny Allen got the news no parent wants to hear.
Their 7-year-old daughter, Morgan, was diagnosed with an inoperable rare stem cancer called DIPG – Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.
The little girl had up to a year to live, doctors said.
Her only treatment option in the United States was radiation treatment, but the cancer was still terminal.
“Thru many late nights of research my wife and I found two doctors in Monterrey, Mexico," Allen said. "They started a program early last year that is showing improvements in some children. It is not covered by insurance and it is very expensive. Total costs will be approximately $300,ooo and that does not include airfare and hotel."
Morgan has received three treatments out of the more than 12 needed.
“After the second treatment, the MRI showed more fluid around the brain area and visually you can see the tumor reduced in size," Allen said. "We did not get any tumor shrinkage during radiation."
Morgan receives treatment every three weeks. She leaves for Mexico on Jan. 28.
“My wife and I have drained our savings account, cashed in both of our kids college plans, and are now looking at a home equity loan to continue treatment,” Allen said.
Macfarlane Park World IB School hosted a talent show tonight to raise money to help Morgan continue treatment in Mexico.
In addition, Outfront Media has donated 12 digital billboards across Tampa Bay to raise awareness about Morgan's rare cancer and encouraging people to donate.
10News reporter Sara Rosario will have a full story with Morgan and her family Wednesday ngiht on 10News at 11 p.m.
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