MURPHYSBORO, Missouri — Christmas came a little early for one southern Illinois family that’s been dealing with a lot this year.
Three-year-old Blakleigh Camden is battling cancer. During the Christmas holiday weekend, someone paid her family a special visit to lift their spirits.
“It’s amazing. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. It’s shocking in a lot of ways,” said Blakleigh’s mother Kasi.
Blakleigh has been battling a rare form of liver cancer since September.
“They had noticed that she had a mass, so they sent us up to St. Louis that day. Then she was diagnosed 2 days later with Stage 3 hepatoblastoma,” said Kasi.
Brandi Pyatt, a family friend and mother herself called the diagnosis devastating.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking. Kasi is a much stronger person than I could ever be. I would not be able to hold myself together as well as she has. They deserve a break — to not have to stress so much if they’ll be able to do this on top of the bills and everything that’s going on,” said Pyatt.
So with a hand from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, friends delivered a bag full of gifts to the little girl who never stops smiling.
“It’s like it’s not happening to her. She’s just the same child as she was before,” said Kasi.
It’s a Christmas gift that came as a surprise and left Blakleigh’s mother nearly speechless.
“Thank you to everybody for doing this for us, for making her have a good Christmas,” she told the friends.
Last week, Blakleigh had a procedure to remove a tumor on her liver. The procedure was a success and now the family is awaiting test results to see if doctors stopped it before it spread.