Dubuque girl fighting cancer, family wants to help others - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque girl fighting cancer, family wants to help others

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A Dubuque family is trying to cope with their little girl's rare cancer, while wanting to help others.

Ashley and Scott Chapman says their 18-month-old daughter, Payzlie has a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, a cancer so rare it's commonly diagnosed in adult patients between 20-50-years-old.

"Something you wouldn't ever think of because I've never even heard of it before," said Ashley, Payzlie's mom. "Then when the doctor said this is only common in 20-50 year olds... I was just like she's only 18 months old, why has this happened?"

Payzlie is full of life and full of smiles, but her dad Scott says he can see her pain.

"You can see the pain in her eyes, you can tell she doesn't know what's going on with her, though," said Scott.

It was November 2014 when the Chapmans first learned about Payzlie's cancer diagnosis, but shortly after treatment it was gone.

Now months later, it is back.

There's a scar on Payzlie's left arm where her mom says the cancer is.

She says it is sometimes hard for Payzlie to use the arm because the protective lining of her arm has the cancerous tumor.

"It grew back," said Ashley. "And so they want to do another surgery and they're thinking amputation. It's just something you never stop thinking of."

She says several doctors have told her it might be best to cut the cancer at the source, meaning little Payzlie's left arm might have to be amputated to stop the cancer from possibly spreading to her lungs or brain.

"Just trying to stay calm. Trying not to worry too much about what they have to say, just more worried about what's going to happen after, what's her recovery going to be, the hospital stay and how she's going to adapt," said Ashley.

The Chapmans will be at the University of Iowa Hospital with Payzlie, Monday where a doctor will make that final decision on the possible amputation.

They wanted to share their story with KWWL to hopefully help other families and children battling cancer, all while they're still trying to understand it all.

"We're trying to understand what's going on with her because we don't know exactly everything, but we'd like to be able to be there for people and try to help everybody out with what's going on," said Scott.

If you would like to share your story with the Chapmans or learn more about Payzlie's journey go to Connecting the Dot for Payzlie Facebook page.

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