Family struggles to pay medical bills for daughter with rare can - KCTV5

Family struggles to pay medical bills for daughter with rare cancer

Posted: Updated:
Aaliyah Watkins is battling a rare form of kidney cancer at Children’s Mercy Hospital. (KCTV) Aaliyah Watkins is battling a rare form of kidney cancer at Children’s Mercy Hospital. (KCTV)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Aaliyah Watkins is battling a rare form of kidney cancer at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

The 5-year-old has always been a positive force for her family, but in November their world was rocked.

Aaliyah’s dad, Domonic Watkins, said she had been complaining about abdominal pain.

“It just got to a point where it seemed more severe,” Watkins said.

After several tests that gave incorrect diagnoses, the true problem was found.

“They eventually did an ultrasound and found a mass in her abdominal area, and determined after further testing that it was a cancerous tumor,” Watkins said.

Within two weeks, the family found out Aaliyah had Stage 3 Wilm’s tumor, a rare childhood cancer that is diagnosed about 500 times a year in the United States.

At that point, it was necessary to have one of her kidneys removed.

Watkins said it was a terrifying and emotional time.

“Her treatment plan consisted of 30 weeks of chemotherapy and 12 radiation treatments,” Watkins said.

While the family was focused on the surprising diagnosis, their minds are now on other concerns, particularly finances.

“So, the timing, the timing of her diagnosis, late 2016 - $3,500 deductible for that year, few months later January 2017, another $3,500 deductible,” Watkins said. “We don’t have $7,000 laying around anywhere.”

Aaliyah’s mother works as a mail carrier and provides health insurance.

Watkins owns his own construction business, but he put work on hold to care for Aaliyah.

“And at a time when you’re taking off work more and more and more because you’re at the hospital, it’s … I just recently went back to work because I realized, we are going to have to deal with this eventually,” Watkins said.

The family is still keeping a positive attitude, and Watkins hopes their story can help other families by raising awareness.

“It’s rare, but it’s real,” Watkins said.

Aaliyah is more than halfway through her treatments. Her family said she has a 60-70 percent chance to survive.

If you'd like to help, click here to donate.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.