3 young brothers diagnosed with the same type of cancer
ATLANTA- Three young brothers share the same fight battling eye cancer.
Tristen (5), Caison (3), and Carter Rush (7 months) are being treated for retinoblastoma. Tristen received his diagnosis in April 2014. Caison was diagnosed in October 2016 and Carter in January of this year.
Mother, Angie Rush, suffers from a genetic mutation that causes retinoblastoma in both of her eyes. Rush had a 50/50 chance of passing this condition on to her children, aware of the risks before giving birth, she tells 'Good Morning America.'
Rush says that she too was diagnosed at just 6 weeks old but is healthy today.
Her boys are receiving chemotherapy once a month, in addition to eye checks and laser treatments.
Director of the solid tumor program at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Dr. Thomas Olsen, confirms the cancer the Rush brothers have is hereditary. "That being said, it is very rare for all three of the children to be diagnosed. It is a risk when you have familial bilateral retinoblastoma."
He adds, "Because mom had retinoblastoma, the babies were checked at birth. Even though Carter was not diagnosed until 6-months old, he was being screened since birth. Pediatricians check for a certain type of reflex in the eye. Anytime there's something abnormal in the eye, the child should be seen by an ophthalmologist."
Despite their health struggles, Rush says her children are happy kids. "They get along great but they're still brothers, they have a lot of energy," she says. "Tristen is so friendly and loves to sing. He loves science... we're kind of hoping he'll be a doctor someday."
"Caison is a bit shy, but has a great personality and makes us laugh a lot. Carter's personality is still growing, but he smiles at everybody."
Due to costly medical bills, the Rush family had to sell their home and move in with relatives.
Strangers nationwide have been donating to a crowdfunding page to help the family get through this tough time.
"The encouragement, people are saying they're thinking of us, it's been wonderful, Rush said, adding how thankful she is. "The monetary support has been wonderful, too."