James Cox, of Phoenix, Arizona lost his wife Briana to cancer, and now he is fighting to keep the same disease from killing their infant daughter.
First diagnosed and treated for melanoma six years ago, the couple thought Briana was cancer-free when she became pregnant with Addison. But when their daughter was a few weeks old the couple learned the disease was back with a vengeance -- stage four metastatic malignant melanoma -- and had been spreading through Briana’s body during her pregnancy.
At first doctors at Phoenix Children's hospital said it wasn't possible for the cancer to have been passed to Addison, CBS5 News reported. There have been fewer than a dozen cases where cancer was transmitted from mother to child in the past decade. But in fact Addison was eventually diagnosed with stage four melanoma as well -- and it has spread to her heart, liver and brain.
Briana Cox, a military veteran and former police officer died on February 12. Her daughter seems to have the same fighting spirit James Cox says. "You would think this is one of the happiest babies on the face of the earth," he told AZfamily.com. "She's a fighter like her mom. She's showed no signs of pain."
The FDA approved a chemo pill for baby Addison, and though it seems to be working a bit, doctors give her two years to live. Now, family and friends are rallying around the baby and are committed to fulfilling Briana's wish -- "to raise awareness and help her daughter," CBS5 reports.
And because her treatment isn't covered by insurance, the members of their Arizona community are trying to raise money to help the family. According to CBS5:
Officers are holding a fundraiser March 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Air Unit, which is located at 102 East Deer Valley Rd. in north Phoenix. Lunch will be available at $5 per plate. Numerous items will also be raffled to raise money to help the family with medical expenses.
For more information, contact Sgt. Keith Politte at 602-999-2214.
Donations can also be made to the Cox Family Donation Account at Arizona Federal Credit Union.