A two-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer has been declared cancer-free.
McKenna "Kenni" Shea Xydias, of Senoia, Georgia, began treatment in February after doctors discovered an ovarian yolk sac tumour - a malignant tumour of cells that line the yolk sac of the embryo. The cause is unknown and it is most often found in children before the ages of one to two.
At the time, Dr Robert Wenham, chair of Moffitt Cancer Center's Gynaecological Oncology Program, told Good Morning America that Kenni's condition was "very, very rare".
"Among all ages combined, Ovarian Germ Cell Tumours 'GCTs' [which includes yolk-sac tumours] make up about one in four ovarian tumours in all ages with about one in five of those tumours being cancerous, and only one in five of those being yolk-sac tumours," Dr Wenham said.
Kenni's parents Mike and Meagan Xydias shared their daughter's journey on their Facebook page Fight with Kenni, documenting Kenni's initial surgery where doctors removed one ovary and part of her small intestine, and chemotherapy over the past few months.
On 12 June, the family received the news they'd been hoping for - a clean bill of health from pediatric oncologist Dr Katie Sutton.
"Dr Sutton came in - she just got straight to it and said, 'Scans were clear. There's nothing there,'" Ms Xydias said. "We sat and cried and held each other for a minute."
On Facebook, Kenni's proud parents shared the good news with their village of supporters around the globe.
"Today, we saw the oncologist and were told that all of Kenni's scans were clear. No evidence of disease in her abdomen (everything that was left over after surgery has been taken care of), they wrote. "X-rays showed no evidence of disease in her chest (so nothing spread).
"To all of you, to all the nurses and doctors working with us through this time, thank you so much for all your hard work!" they continued. " And to all of our friends, family, and friends that have become family as we've leaned on you for support over the past few months - thank you, with all our hearts!
"Our family is looking forward to moving forward, with our daughter, an ovarian cancer survivor!"
Kenni's illness began back in January with a bloated uncomfortable belly and a fever.
"We took her to the doctor - at that point they thought it was gas so they told us to give her gas drops and let them know if she got any more fevers." Ms Xydias said. A week later, her temperature was high once again.
Doctors performed an ultrasound, locating a mass around Kenni's ovaries. A CT scan and a MRI then located several cancerous tumours — one on her right ovary, another near her liver and others throughout her abdomen.
"The immediate reaction was, 'How could this happen?'" Mr Xydias, told GMA in February. "I knew of this being [more common] in women. I didn't realise that it could happen to such a young kid."
Describing their daughter as their "hero, he added, "She is a ball of energy and a stereotypical 2-year-old. She's the youngest child, where she is the boss and she's extremely stubborn, which a great character trait in going to fight cancer. She doesn't let anything stop her."
And fight she did.
With doctors now predicting that Kenni will continue to thrive, her parents have advice for others:
"There's the medical aspect of 'trust your gut when it comes to your or your child's health' and there's the life aspect of, 'enjoy every minute," Ms Xydias said.
"People are genuinely good and they want to help," Mr Xydias added. "[We want to] pay it forward to everyone who helped us."