Allentown, Pa. (WTXF) - A 14-year-old Allentown teen is in the fight for his life. He has an extremely rare form of cancer and now his community is rallying around him and his family.
The Werner family cherishes their family time now more than ever. In February of 2016, their son Bryce developed a nagging cough. Doctors prescribed antibiotics, but the cough didn't go away.
"It got to the point that he didn't want eat very much and he was really tired," mom, Tiffany Turner, said.
Doctors discovered Bryce actually had a huge tumor in his stomach.
"It was so big it was pressing on his diaphragm, which was causing the coughing," his mom said.
Bryce had surgery the day before his 13th birthday and shortly after that the family learned the teen has a rare cancer called gastrointestinal stromal tumor or GISTs. His is a genetic mutation. There's no treatment or cure.
"When you hear cancer, as a parent right away, you think OK this is what we are gonna do and then you are blindsided again when they say there's nothing we can do," Tiffany said.
The only option to take out the tumor. Bryce had half his stomach removed, part of his intestines and a small portion of his liver in the process.
Although he doesn't show it--Bryce is pain every day--back pain, stomach pain.
"I don't digest food well, have to go to the bathroom a lot. It affects my life a lot and scans and blood work and routine checkups. It's just been a lot," he said.
And to make matters worse, his 15-year-sister Ariana and dad Chris also have the genetic mutation to develop GISTs and both under constant observation. With little research this cancers, the family are on a mission.
"Getting word out. Making people aware is something our family is doing our best to help with," Chris said.
The horrible diagnosis definitely bringing this family closer together and appreciating life more than ever.
A benefit will be held on Saturday, March 3rd from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Goodwill Fire Company Social Hall located 537 Chestnut Street, Bally, PA, 19503.