MORVEN, N.C. — He was a normal baby boy, happy and energetic, but around 9 months old, he started to get a little fussy.
Haley Snow noticed a lump under her son Mari's right arm, and showed her mother back on August 20th, 2018. They took now 16-month-old Mari to the doctors. Tests were done and the family was referred to specialists.
"On September 4th, they called me at work," Snow told NBC Charlotte. "They told me, they wish they had better news."
Mari was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of childhood cancer - Extrarenal Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor.
"This disease occurs most commonly in infants and toddlers; the average age of diagnosis is 15 months old. There are about 20 to 25 new cases of malignant rhabdoid tumor diagnosed each year in the United States. Cells from a malignant rhabdoid tumor can spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body."
The fight for life started immediately. Chemo was able to shrink the tumor Snow found of her son. In November, she said Mari had a successful surgery to remove it.
"We were just finishing out the chemo for this type of cancer, and we had 4 more rounds to go..."
Then came another scan in January. Several more tumors detected.
"Now his lungs are filling with fluid, and they can't get it to stop," Snow said. "We were supposed to leave Sunday to go to Atlanta to start a clinical trial." But now the family is home with Mari. Hospice has been called in and doctors have told the family their precious baby boy may have only a few days left.
"This is a pain no one should ever go through," Snow said.
No child should ever have to suffer from cancer, she went on to say. That is why Snow chose to share her son's story, to remind parents to hug their babies and to try and put a stop to childhood cancer.
As anyone can imagine the medical expenses and struggle to make bills is near impossible right now, if you would like to help the Snow family, you can click here to do so or visit their Go Fund Me page.
People throughout the community have also been showing their support by using the hashtag #MariStrong on social media. The family is praying for miracle.