4-year-old West Plains native battles cancer, advanced treatment offers hope

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Nearly 300,000 children and young adults are diagnosed each year with cancer.

St. Jude works to find treatments that have helped the overall childhood cancer survival rate go from 20% to more than 80% since it opened its door more than 50 years ago.

The St. Jude Springfield, at Mercy Hospital, has been working hard to help patients fight this disease.

"Your first thought is, you're child's going to die," said Lundon Duchesne

Lundon Duchesne is the mother to 4-year-old Quincy Maloi whose countless hours spent watching Disney's Frozen doesn't compare to the time spent inside the halls of St. Jude Hospital.

"She got diagnosed a few days before her second birthday," said Duchesne.

Her family moved, uprooting their life in West Plains to move to Ozark. They wanted to be closer to treatment. Maloi is battling the most common form of childhood cancer, leukemia. Leukemia is a disease that develops in bone-marrow, affecting the white blood cells.

Duchesne says a trip to the doctor for a high fever is how the cancer was first detected.

"We went to the hospital thinking it was the flu, and it turned out to be leukemia," said Duchesne

Since then its been a long journey, full of hospital visits, medications, and doctors.

Maloi is the first in her family to ever have cancer.

"We spent three straight months in St. Jude in Memphis," said Duchesne.

Maloi is currently taking Total 17, a medicine only found at St. Jude Hospitals.

Total 17 lets doctors tailor advanced forms of treatment based on the type of cancer and the severity, limiting the risk of negative side-effects.

"I think by individualizing the treatment, trying to find the high-risk groups, the low-risk groups, I think that will give us great hope that we will reach a 100 percent cure rate one day," said Mohamed Elsaid.

Her doctor says with the research they hope the treatment can help more people become cancer-free.

And while Maloi is in the final stages of her three-year treatment she is looking to forward to a hopeful and bright future.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.