ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Another Central Florida family is fighting to save their son from a rare brain cancer through an experimental treatment in Mexico.
Of the 25 million children in the U.S. in the age range that the disease usually strikes, only one in 125,000 will see the diagnoses.
The two boys with the disease attend the same school.
Now, both of their families have bonded while they battle the disease.
Andrew Lorie, 6, has been fighting for his life the past four years.
At 2 years old, he was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of brain cancer.
“To say that my world fell apart I think is probably not even coming close to how I felt about it,” said Andrew’s mother, Lee Anne Lorie.
The family was more than surprised to learn that another young boy in their neighborhood, Alan Vasquez, had also been diagnosed with the disease, which strikes less than 200 children a year across the country.
“I don’t want my son on the journey, and I don’t want anyone else on the journey,” said Lorie.
Director of Arnold Palmer’s Pediatric Neuro-oncology Amy Smith said there’s no explanation.
“It’s honestly probably just a coincidence, though it does seem unusual,” she said.
The Lorie family said Andrew did well under traditional therapies, but they were frustrated by the lack of options in the U.S. after hitting his radiation limit.
When they heard about Alan, they learned of the experimental treatment Vasquez’s mother sought in Mexico.
The two mothers bonded on social media, and last week, the Lories returned from their first trip to try the treatment.
They said they’ll go to any length to buy more time.
“You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. That is how we look at it,” said Lorie.
Smith said some significant strides are coming in Arnold Palmer’s approach to the devastating disease.
Within the next two years, the hospital's researchers plan to conduct a trial of cutting-edge treatment for the cancer.
While treatment hasn't come soon enough for the families, both continue to use fundraisers to support their journeys.
Cox Media Group