The Emotional and Financial Pain of Childhood Cancer

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Playing Parents Detail Terrifying Moment They Discovered Child’s Cancer

The Doctors welcome the Villan family, who are all too aware of the devastating effects of a cancer diagnosis. Daughter Jasleen was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, a rare kidney cancer that usually affects children.

Jasleen's mom Melissa tells us she took her daughter to the emergency room when she had blood in her stool. This rare cancer affects 500 to 600 children each year. This type of cancer has 5 stages and doctors discovered Jasleen was at stage 4 and that it was spreading to her lungs. Just 2 days after discovering her tumor, it was removed, but because it had spread, chemotherapy and radiation were also needed.

Watch: The Financial Realities of Dealing with Childhood Cancer

Parents Melissa and Gabriel share having to care for their daughter has caused and major financial burden on the family and they are behind on their house payments and have bills stacking up. "Would you rather take care of your daughter or go to work?" Gabriel asks. Melissa adds, "When cancer comes it hist hard and hits all areas." They fear they will lose their house as they are almost in foreclosure.

Jasleen's parents are happy to share with The Doctors and oncologist Dr. Lawrence Piro tha their daughter is doing well and she currently has no evidence of having cancer. Dr. Piro explains the remission rate for Jasleen's cancer is 85 to 90 percent, which helps ease Melissa and Gabriel's fears.

Carla Tardif, the CEO of Family Reach, says that unfortunately, Jasleen's family's experience is all too common and that 1 out 3 families dealing with pediatric cancer will experience a major financial hardship. "The system is broken," she says, noting that most families cannot prepare for the financial aspects of dealing with a major disease in addition to also caring for their child.

Watch: What to Do After a Cancer Diagnosis

In an effort to help Jasleen and her family, The Doctors surprise them with gifts and assistance from Family ReachPeek KidsHasbro. Also, the AmerisourceBergen Foundation gives the family $16,100 for 7 months of mortgage payments.

"Thank you, thank you very much, this is a blessing," an emotional Gabriel says.

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