8-year-old Utah girl battles breast cancer; story captures the world

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CENTERVILLE, Utah -- Eight years old and facing a battle most assume will only strike women decades older, Chrissy Turner of Centerville has breast cancer.

"It's a powerless feeling to know that your little one is struggling with cancer,” said Annette Turner, Chrissy’s mom.

The family got the diagnosis earlier this month when Chrissy came to them with a lump on her breast.  A biopsy confirmed a rare form of cancer called secretory carcinoma.

Chrissy’s mom says it does not respond well to chemo and has a high recurrence rate.

"Chrissy is scheduled for surgery on Monday, which they are going to be doing a full mastectomy on that side,” Turner said.

"I really don't like that they have to transport me to hospitals and I have to stay overnight,” Chrissy said.

For now, the prognosis is good, but that could change after biopsies are taken during surgery.

Chrissy’s story is being followed around the world.  The Today Show, Good Morning America and others have featured her battle over the past few weeks.  Her parents call it a humbling and surreal experience.

"You pull up Facebook or whatever on the Internet, anywhere, and her face is all over so then it settles in and becomes real again,” Turner said.

Cancer has touched the Turner’s in the past. Turner is a cervical cancer survivor.

Troy, Chrissy’s father, battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is in remission but has to have tests every three months.  Chrissy was young during her father’s primary battle with cancer. Her sister Brianna, now 16, can still remember it and the impacts.

"The surgeries, the biopsies and stuff and it's really difficult and I don't want Chrissy to go through that,” Brianna said.

Despite an eight-year age gap, Brianna says she spends most of her time with Chrissy.

Together, the family is supporting their youngest member, often drawing on her own decisions to give them strength. Chrissy made her own decision to have her case be part of a cancer study.

The reason, “I knew it would help a lot of people,” Chrissy said.

A family friend set up a Go Fund Me page for Chrissy: https://www.gofundme.com/Chrissysalliance

You can also follow her journey at: https://www.facebook.com/ChrissysAlliance/

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