COWETA COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) A Coweta County two year-old is in the fight of her life. Mackenna Shae, who goes by Kenni, has a rare form of ovarian cancer.
"She doesn't know that she has cancer," Kenni's mother, Meagan Xydias, told CBS46. "The bigger part is explaining it to her brothers. Having to explain to them why she had to get her hair shaved, why she can't play with them all the time."
Meagan and her husband, Michael, say they never saw the diagnosis coming. Meagan, a school teacher, was preparing to spend Valentine's Day with her students when Kenni started having issues with her stomach. It turned out to be a tumor.
"It was heartbreaking," Meaghan said. "How does she have a tumor? Where did it come from? How does this happen? And you never expect it to happen to you or your baby."
Within days, oncologists discovered Kenni had a rare form ovarian cancer that is uncommon in children so young.
"You're used to seeing your kids running around, playing," her mother said. "But when you see them hooked up, not able to do anything ... it just breaks your heart. It really does."
Kenni soon began eight rounds of chemotherapy at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital, home to one of the largest pediatric cancer centers in the country. Doctors around the world have discussed how best to treat such a rare diagnosis.
"It's not very common," Dr. Thomas Olson, Director of the Solid Tumor Program in the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, told CBS46. "You think of ovarian cancer in someone much older."
"Our world got turned comopletely upside down," Kenni's father, Michael, said.
In the months since her treatments first began, the community has continued to support the family in any way possible.
"The burden is on us instead of her," Meagan said. "At least we can try and shoulder some that for her."
In a social media post, Meagan said Kenni will go in for additional tests in early June, then meet with her oncologist. "We're hoping Kenni gets to ring the bell that day - will keep you posted!" she wrote online.