Weeks After Girl's Brain Tumor Diagnosis, Unimaginable News

6-year-old Kalea Avery's 4-year-old brother, Noah, has the same brain cancer she has
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2018 8:01 AM CDT
Weeks After Girl's Brain Tumor Diagnosis, Unimaginable News
Noah Avery, left, and his sister, Kalea.   (GoFundMe)

In what CBS Los Angeles calls a "medical mystery," a California case has stunned both doctors and the parents of two young siblings. Duncan and Nohea Avery's 6-year-old daughter, Kalea, threw up around Memorial Day, then started complaining of headaches. A devastating diagnosis came on June 7: Kalea had a medulloblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor that about 500 US kids each year are diagnosed with, per the Los Angeles Times. Just as the Averys grappled with that news, their 4-year-old son, Noah, started saying his head hurt and walking unevenly. An MRI revealed more devastating news just two weeks after Kalea's diagnosis: Noah also had a medulloblastoma, one even bigger than Kalea's. "My heart literally felt like it … was being pulled out of my chest," Nohea Avery tells CBS.

Doctors are flabbergasted at the double whammy, saying they've never witnessed siblings being diagnosed with brain tumors so close together (one documented set developed tumors within a year of each other). Doctors think Kalea and Noah may have a genetic predisposition to this cancer; the family plans to undergo genetic testing, per KTLA. "Maybe the reason we're put on this Earth is so we can find the gene that causes medulloblastoma," Duncan Avery tells the Times. Per a GoFundMe, which has raised more than $150,000, both kids are doing well after surgeries to remove the tumors; next they have radiation and chemo, as well as possibly years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. "I don't know how I'm going to get through this, but you do. You find a way," Nohea Avery tells KTLA. (Maria Menounos was diagnosed with a brain tumor as her mom also fought brain cancer.)

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