(CNN) – It started out as a limp.
At the time, father Shawn Cress thought daughter Chloe, then 12 years old, just needed some physical therapy. That was June 2018.
But the limp turned into a fever, which led to lab tests at the doctor’s office that “didn’t look good,” Shawn recalls. And by then, Chloe was having back pain.All this for the Kingsport, Tennessee family turned into a referral to Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, about 34 miles away, where doctors gave Chloe a CT scan. That’s how they found the mass — a giant tumor near Chloe’s heart that had spread down to her esophagus and into some of her vertebrae, causing the back pain.It was stage 4 cancer — alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, which is cancer in the skeletal muscles, according to the American Cancer Society. Not even 12 hours after the results came back, Chloe…
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