It breaks my heart that even small kids have to battle cancer. This might be one of the hardest battles to take. Most of the times it does not end well and the kids pass away.
Fortunately, we know of stories with happy endings against all odds.
Dylan Little was born with some rare birthmarks covering his body and his back was dark red. Doctors were in shock.
After his birth, Dylan was immediately taken to the NICU. Sadly, it soon became clear that the little boy was suffering from a serious condition called Congenital Melanocytic Nevus – about 80 percent of his frail body was covered in birthmarks.
His mother, Kara, was as shocked as the doctors. During her pregnancy, she had check-ups and ultrasounds and there were no signs of anything abnormal about her baby.
“When Dylan was born, his back was entirely black and bleeding, his face, arms and legs were all covered in moles. The largest one was from above his ears all the way down to his bottom, so it went all the way down around his shoulders, belly and entire backside. There were hundreds of satellites where the moles ranged from half the size of a dollar to the dot of a pen,” she told Kidspot in 2016.
At only five weeks old, Dylan had already undergone a PET scan and MRI to check for melanoma. His rare condition – affecting only one in 20,000 – meant that Dylan had several melanin deposits in his brain.
Doctors explained to his parents that their baby has to undergo several surgeries before he turns one.
The mole on Dylan’s back was by far the biggest, the doctors wanted to completely remove it, but that required transplanting skin from other parts of the baby’s body.
Throughout his childhood, Dylan had to undergo 26 surgeries and most of his back mole is now gone.
The only solution to the skin transplant he needed was to gen implants, similar to breast implants. The idea was for the skin to grow around it so that the boy had enough excess skin to cover his back after the mole was removed.
“We’re holding onto hope that the moles never turn on and become cancerous, but he could develop cancer at any point,” his mother, Kara, told the Telegraph. “He has surgery every three to six months, dependent on which area of the body.”
“We are trying to do what’s best for him, we want to give him the fullest, longest life we possibly can,” Kara said to the Telegraph.
“Dylan amazes me constantly, he always has a smile on his face and feels like he owns the hospital, all the nurses know and love him.”
Dylan knows that he looks different to other kids. From time to time, strangers stop and stare and he simply goes to them and explains why he looks the way he does.
There have been times when kids were mean to him, but mostly everyone is nice.
Even though Dylan has been through a lot, he still remains happy and optimistic.
Refuses to hide
“Once in a supermarket a store manager asked us to leave because one of their customers was upset about having seen our child, which was very upsetting,” Kara said.
At the same time, Kara rightly refuses to hide or be ashamed of her boy.
“I’m not afraid to take him out at all and I don’t want him to be worried or think there is something he should be ashamed of,” she explained.
Kara and Nikki, his parents have created a Facebook page for Dylan to raise awareness about his condition and for people to take this journey with the boy.
“We don’t know what his future holds at this point, he could have days, weeks, years or decades – which is why we are doing everything we can to keep him with us,” Kara said in 2016.
Dylan Little today
To this day, Dylan has had 33 surgeries, but still loves life and wants to live it to the fullest. He loves fishing, playing baseball, and he also loves some quality time with friends and family.
His parents are always double checking on the moles he still has left, as patients suffering from Congenital Melanocytic Nevus have a high risk of contracting skin cancer. As a result, it’s extra important for them to constantly keep an eye on their birthmarks.
The boy still has to go to the doctors from time to time and even have small surgeries, but up until now all of them went according to the plans and the recovery was fast.
This is a recent photo, and as you can see, Dylan looks radiant and full of life.
He’s a fighter, a hero, an inspiration!
Way to go Dylan!
We’re rooting for you to be healthy soon!