Young mother battles rare form of cancer - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Young mother battles rare form of cancer

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(Source: NBC12) (Source: NBC12)

The community is rallying behind a Central Virginia mother battling a rare form of cancer. At 23-years-old, she's fighting a cancer that typically doesn't strike until a person is much older.

It's a story of hope that faith can overcome fear. A young mother fighting for life at the Massey Cancer Center is determined to survive.

"I can get angry. I can get mad but what that is solving? I feel like that's solving nothing," Katelyn Cox said.

It's been a long year for the 23-year-old. She learned in February she has a rare, bile duct cancer called Cholangiocarcinoma, only found in one out of every 100,000 people.

"It's a very rare presentation in an already very rare disease," said Dr. Andrew Poklepovic.

He says that's because the disease usually hits patients when they are in their 60's. After the diagnosis, Cox had to quit her job and college courses. At times, she spends five days a week in the hospital, all while playing the role of mom to 4 year old Hailey.

"Only thing that she knows is mommy is sick and she's trying to get better," Cox said.

Friends and family have been there every step of the way. Several businesses and groups have organized fundraisers to help with medical costs - including the Chesterfield Big League Baseball Team. Katelyn and Hailey were even invited on field to throw the first pitch.

"They did the cold water challenges and car washes. Everything they did was just outstanding for her…There are going to be medical bills that are not going to be paid by the insurance company. It's going to be an ongoing effort," her aunt Donna Stewart said.

But it's one that won't get the best of this 23-year-old whose sharing her story to inspire others facing uphill battles.

"I'm going to go at this and try to knock it out. The best way to do that is keep my spirits high and live my life the best way that I can because who knows how long I'm going to be here," Cox said.

Though her future as a young cancer patient may be uncertain, one thing is unmistakable is her will to win.

Her family has set up an account at Wells Fargo Bank locations called the "Katelyn Cox Donation Fund".

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