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9-year-old Dayton girl battling rare brain cancer

Maliya Gafford is currently participating in a clinical trial in Seattle.
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 5:27 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A 9-year-old Dayton girl is battling a rare Stage 3 brain cancer and she needs your help. Maliya Gafford was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma right before the pandemic in November 2019.

Maliya’s parents, Malcolm and Monica Gafford, said the cancer is more common for boys than it is for girls. Since her diagnosis, Maliya has received two surgeries to remove the mass and has gone through radiation, but there’s still some left.

Her father said the survival rate is unclear. “They don’t know, they threw out a 50-50, and as far as I looked up on the cancer and what I talked to by doctors, they say about 187 kids a year are diagnosed with it.”

Currently, she is participating in a clinical trial in Seattle, but her parents said it’s not promising. The Gaffords are working full-time and just had a baby a year ago.

“Hard,” her mother said. “Trying to keep a job and kind of afford everything, when I have to leave, and come, and hotel stays, and kind of fending for two households.” She continued, “I’m looking at a better outcome, I am hoping that everything works.”

Maliya’s father added, “That’s really all you can do, stay strong and take one step at a time, stay forward.”

According to her parents, bills are costing around $100,000.

You can donate through Venmo @MaliyaStrong or GoFundMe.

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